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Care pathway that helps older people receives award

28th November 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The Newquay Pathfinder recently won the HSJ award for Managing Long Term Conditions after making a huge difference to the lives of over 100 people in Cornwall. The integrated care pathway involves volunteers and professionals from the health and care services working together to deliver care that older people want and need, with a special focus on helping them to live independently at home.

The volunteers, many of whom are Age UK staff members, act as a key communication link and listen to what the person wants before drawing up a care plan with care professionals to help them manage their condition in their own homes. From recommending and implementing adaptations such as stairlifts for the elderly to providing prevention support regarding falls, the Newquay Pathfinder offers community support that could become a model for other areas of the UK.

The idea behind the scheme is that older people and those with mobility difficulties can be in control of their own care and live the life that they want in their own homes. Joy Youart, Managing Director of NHS Kernow, said: "The Newquay Pathfinder is about listening to the person’s story and making everything fit around the person". It is important to keep their wishes in mind at all times, whether they are hoping to maximise their income so that they can afford to pay for food, heating and the installation of useful aids like walk in shower cubicles or want to find social clubs and groups where they can meet other people.

Although The Newquay Pathfinder is still in the early stages of development, it has already improved the wellbeing, confidence and overall quality of life for its participants by 27 per cent, with a 35 per cent reduction in hospital admissions. As an example of preventative care that really works, this partnership between the NHS, local councils and Age UK could improve the lives of those with long-term conditions across the country.

Image Credit: Aletia (Shutterstock)