Care homes can be a solution to crumbling community care services, says City expert
The population in the UK is rapidly ageing but currently we do not have a good enough system to address the increasing healthcare needs of older people, says Professor Julienne Meyer CBE• by A new review of how NHS and social care services in England are performing by the charity Age UK has found that thousands of older people are ending up in hospital every year with potentially life-threatening infections because GPs and other community-based NHS services do too little to keep them well.
The report highlights how cuts to social care services in recent years have left older people struggling on their own to undertake at least one basic task that is vital to their wellbeing. This includes important routines such as washing, getting dressed and feeding themselves.
The review also mentions that a large number of older people are also being admitted to hospital as medical emergencies because their illness has not been properly managed at home.
Commenting on the report, Julienne Meyer CBE, Professor of Nursing: Care for Older People at City University London and Executive Director of My Home Life Programme, said:
“The population in the UK is rapidly ageing but currently we do not have a good enough system to address the increasing healthcare needs of older people. As a result we urgently need a joined-up system of integrated care across both public and private sectors to reduce the burden on beds in the NHS and ensure that older people are receiving the care that they so desperately deserve.
"We need to acknowledge that independent care homes are potentially part of the solution for the NHS. If we worked in better partnership with them to co-create new services, care homes could help alleviate some of the pressures that are crippling the NHS. However, we also need to recognise that the system is broken and more funding is needed to make this happen well.”
To speak to Professor Julienne Meyer, please contact George Wigmore, Senior Communications Officer at City University London on +44 (0)7989 643 112 or firstname.lastname@example.org