A radical plan to improve care for older people could become a blueprint for the whole country.
The Older People’s Assessment Service being developed by The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been chosen to be part of the Royal College of Physician’s (RCP) prestigious Future Hospital Programme.
The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is one of just four that were picked to help pioneer the Future Hospital Programme vision of bringing specialist care closer to the patient - whether they are in hospital or the community – into practice.
The Older People’s Assessment Service is part of a planned Acute Care Hub which is being developed by the Trust.
A pilot project ran last winter headed by two consultants supported by elderly ‘in reach’ nurses and support staff working out of the Trust’s Acute Medical Unit.
Their expertise led to quicker assessment and discharge of elderly patients and an ability to quickly tackle their often complex care needs.
The Trust is now working towards a remodelling of facilities to allow a multi-faceted ‘front door’ assessment service for older people.
Dr Dinesh Nagi, Clinical Director at the Trust who is leading the Future Hospital work, said: “The number of people aged 85 and over is set to increase by two-thirds in the coming years and there is a pressing need to change how we care for those with acute and urgent care needs.
“Older people regularly have a range of complex care problems that need to be quickly addressed to minimise their time in hospital and support their safe discharge.
“Comprehensive assessment underpinned by an integrated health and social care are proven to lead to reduced length of stays, re-admission rates and improved quality of life – this forms the basis of the Older People’s Assessment Service.”
The Trust’s Older People’s Assessment Service will include:
- Older persons assessment and short stay unit (FASSU)
- Orthogeriatrics and Surgical Liaison
- Integrated Falls and Fragility Fracture Liaison Service
- Dementia and Delirium
- Integration with Community based services.
Dr Mark Temple, RCP Future Hospital officer, said: “Older people have specific health care needs that are often overlooked in busy admission wards. By setting up this service specifically for frail older people, Dr Nagi and his team will be able to transform not just the care they receive, but also improve their experience of attending hospital, and enable more people to return home the same day. We’re really looking forward to working with Mid Yorkshire on this project and are delighted that they are contributing to improved care for older people nationally.”