NHS boss calls for better elderly care
13th June 2014
New NHS in England head Simon Stevens has said that he wants hospitals to provide better care and play a bigger role in care provision, particularly for the elderly. This could see elderly residents in England with mobility difficulty receive better care and be able to return to their homes sooner.
As NHS funding comes under review by the government there are concerns that smaller general hospitals will miss out and come under pressure, an event that could see distress and the care of older people living in smaller communities suffer as a result.
While the end goal is to ensure that patients are well enough to return home, older people, in particular, have been seen to benefit from rehabilitation services in small hospitals before they return to their homes. This is an area that is particularly at risk as smaller hospitals undergo threats of closure.
As the country faces an ageing population, the NHS is coming under strain to accommodate for the larger number of frail and older patients. Such patients need palliative care and rehabilitation before they are able to return to the independence they are accustomed to at home as a result of mobility aids, supportive stair lifts and home care services.
The Community Hospitals Association echoed these thoughts when talking to the BBC last week and stated that ‘We’ve got a frail, older population with complex care needs and for some patients it’s not appropriate for them to go straight from hospital to home’. The new head of the NHS in England Simon Stevens has also been in support of such hospitals as he believes they should be playing a bigger role in providing care, particularly for older patients.
As Stephens outlines his plans for the NHS and ways of keeping older people in better health, home care is also being assessed where such services can work alongside home adaptations, including non-slip walk in baths and showers and hand rails, to ensure older people maintain independence and good health after a hospital visit.
Image Credit: DIBP images (flickr.com)
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