A report by Age UK documents how our health and care system is struggling, and too often failing, to meet the needs of our growing older population.
The report shows how significant numbers of hospital admissions of older people could be avoided if they received help earlier on, before small health problems mushroom into crises requiring urgent clinical support. It argues that this will only happen if there is a strong political leadership from the Government and a drive right across the NHS and local authorities to make it happen.
The report calls for:
- A strong strategic push, nationally and locally, to reverse the decline of primary and community health services and social care, so many more older people get more help, earlier, enabling them to stay well for longer at home and reducing their reliance on crisis health care in hospitals.
- More community-based services to be developed and joined up in local areas so they include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social care staff, among others, and the voluntary sector too, working closely with GPs and their practice teams.
- The principle of ‘home first’ as the foundation of our approach to health and social care for older people now and into the future.
The paper also reports on the number and percentage of people aged 65+ discharged from hospitals to their own home (including a residential or nursing care home or extra care housing) for rehabilitation.