Objectives: To assess the relationship between Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) Vanguards, which include as an aim the integration of healthcare and social care sectors, and Delayed Transfers of Care (DTOC) at Local Authority level in England.
Methods: Difference-in-difference pooled cross section, fixed and random effects panel estimations were used to compare DTOC between UEC partner site Local Authorities with non-UEC Local Authorities employing quarterly data on days of DTOC from Local Authorities in England for the period 2010 to 2017. Robustness checks included employing a range of sample and variable specifications and synthetic control estimations.
Results: A statistically significant negative relationship was found between UEC Vanguards and DTOC rates that is robust to various specification checks with no indication of UEC participant sites having lower DTOC rates prior to the start of the initiative.
UEC Vanguards appear to be associated with up to 40.5% lower DTOC rates at 1% significance level compared with other English Local Authorities. The empirical evidence indicates a statistically significant impact; however, more research is required to explain the reasons for this relationship.