This study explored practitioner preferences about the relative value of attributes of care coordination services for older people. A Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) survey was used to identify the views of 120 practitioners from 17 services in England in 2015. The survey design was informed by an analysis of standards of care coordination, a postal survey and a consultation with carers of older people. Results of the DCE survey were supplemented by a content analysis of qualitative comments and fieldwork notes. Most respondents were over 30 years of age, female and almost half worked part-time. Continuity of care (care provided by the same care coordinator) and the ability to access the range of services outlined in the care plan were the most important service attributes. Service setting influenced practitioner preferences. Those in specialist services for people with dementia identified the length of time a service was provided as another important attribute. The DCE methodology has provided the opportunity to systematically canvas practitioner preferences.
These findings demonstrate the importance of organisations providing care coordination for older people receiving long-term funding. Further research is required to investigate the influence of service setting on practitioner preferences.