This briefing highlights the vital role community providers play in supporting people with frailty at every stage of the care pathway. Community staff, alongside wider system partners, support people with frailty to stay well in their own home through preventative measures and crisis response initiatives, as well as diverting people from the front door of hospitals where appropriate and delivering intermediate care to help people recover after a hospital stay.

Each of these interventions provide an opportunity to deliver care for individuals closer to home, where they often prefer to be treated, which is invaluable both for individuals, and can support the flow of patients through the health and care system.

Despite the important work that community providers are undertaking, it is clear that some people with frailty are still going without the support they need to enable them to stay well at home with impacts for carers and families as well as pressure points in the health and care system. Insufficient staff and investment within the community and social care sectors means providers are unable to scale up and maximise many of the community led initiatives outlined in this briefing. Cuts to preventative services and public health funding have also contributed to people presenting with more complex and acute care needs which require more specialised care.

As this briefing shows, community providers, and their partners, are already thinking innovatively about how they can support people with frailty to live well at home, but to achieve this in a meaningful way, they need national prioritisation and support to ensure services can be delivered consistently and at scale. This is essential as demographic changes mean demand for services will continue to rise, and the health and care system will need to effectively and sustainably prevent and treat more people in the community.