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Celebrating United Nations Day of Older Persons - 1 October 2016

In advance of the United Nations Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2016, the British Geriatrics Society has written to Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP (Chair of House of Commons Health Committee), Dr Dai Lloyd, AM (Welsh Assembly Chair of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee), Mr Neil Findlay, MSP (Scottish Parliament Convenor of the Health and Sport Committee) and to Ms Paula Bradley, Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

[Download letter in pdf format] To Mr Findlay MP, the BGS said:

"At the same time as celebrating, we are acutely aware of the need to address the new challenges that success brings, and which our members are addressing on a daily basis in their work with people living with frailty, dementia, complex needs and multiple long-term conditions.  We therefore bring to your attention the steps we believe the Scottish Parliament must take if we are to continue to meet the health needs of older people in Scotland.

1. Ensuring the Integrated Joint Boards have adequate funding and support as they begin their vital work in providing health and social care in Scotland: older people are major users of these services and depend on their efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Building greater capacity in intermediate care.  BGS calls on the Scottish Parliament to increase its investment in building the capacity of those services which provide a link between home and acute hospital for older people who need rehabilitation, re-ablement, or sub-acute treatment.  

3. Strategic direction on older people living with frailty, dementia, complex needs and multiple long-term conditions.  We call for access to comprehensive geriatric assessment, personalised care plans for treatment and long-term follow-up for all older people with frailty, dementia, complex and multiple long-term conditions.  These can only be provided consistently and effectively through ensuring that staffing is at a level which is adequate for delivery of that care and follow-up.

4. Support staff across all care sectors to develop competencies in the management of older patients.  Requiring the regulatory and advisory bodies to incorporate competencies in the management of older people into their curricula, guidance, professional and quality standards is a key component in improving quality of healthcare for older people which requires further development.  

5. Measurement of care to focus on what matters most to older people and their families.  We call for a national set of indicators and outcomes to strengthen the measurement of older people’s experience of care pathways, access to care and care outcomes and to ensure that what matters most to older people and their families is fully measured and improvements can be tracked over time. Many of our members are working with the improvement programmes in the new ihub and we look forward to continuing to support its work."


[Download letter in pdf format]The issues raised in Dr Lloyd's letter include:

"We are acutely aware of the need to address the new challenges that success brings, and which our members are addressing on a daily basis in their work with people living with frailty, dementia, complex needs and multiple long-term conditions.  We therefore bring to your attention the steps we believe the Welsh Assembly must take if we are to continue to meet the health needs of older people in Wales.

1. An end to the divide between health and social care.  BGS supports the recommendation by the King’s Fund’s independent commission chaired by Economist Kate Barker, that those whose needs are defined as ‘critical’ should receive free social care, and the divide between health and social care should end for those at the highest levels of need.

2. Building greater capacity in intermediate care.  BGS calls on the Welsh Assembly to increase its investment in building the capacity of those services which provide a link between home and acute hospital for older people who need rehabilitation, re-ablement, or sub-acute treatment.  

3. Investment in healthcare and social support for older people through sufficient funding to the NHS for achieving the goals of the Five Year Forward view, and to local authorities to enable them to meet their social care obligations, including those to older people.  We are especially mindful of the recent King’s Fund report (July 2016) on the current state of social care funding and provision.    

4. Strategic direction on older people living with frailty, dementia, complex needs and multiple long-term conditions.  We call for access to comprehensive geriatric assessment, personalised care plans for treatment and long-term follow-up for all older people with frailty, dementia, complex and multiple long-term conditions.  These can only be provided consistently and effectively through ensuring that staffing is at a level which is adequate for delivery of that care and follow-up.

5. Support staff across all care sectors to develop competencies in the management of older patients.  Requiring the regulatory and advisory bodies to incorporate competencies in the management of older people into their curricula, guidance, professional and quality standards is a key component in improving quality of healthcare for older people which requires further development.  

6. Measurement of care to focus on what matters most to older people and their families.  We call for a national set of indicators and outcomes to strengthen the measurement of older people’s experience of care pathways, access to care and care outcomes and to ensure that what matters most to older people and their families is fully measured and improvements can be tracked over time."


[Download letter in pdf format] to Dr Wollaston:

"We bring to your attention the steps we believe Government must take if we are to continue to meet the health needs of older people in England.

1. An end to the divide between health and social care.  BGS supports the recommendation by the King’s Fund’s independent commission chaired by Economist Kate Barker, that those whose needs are defined as ‘critical’ should receive free social care, and the divide between health and social care should end for those at the highest levels of need.

2. Building greater capacity in intermediate care.  BGS calls on Government to increase its investment in building the capacity of those services which provide a link between home and acute hospital for older people who need rehabilitation, re-ablement, or sub-acute treatment.  We are aware that Government itself has highlighted this need, most recently through the recommendations by the CQC in its report published in July 2016, Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers.  We believe the development of and investment in intermediate care services is fundamental to reducing the number of delayed transfers from hospital to home.

3. Investment in healthcare and social support for older people through sufficient funding to the NHS for achieving the goals of the Five Year Forward view, and to local authorities to enable them to meet their social care obligations, including those to older people.  We are especially mindful of the recent King’s Fund report (July 2016) on the current state of social care funding and provision.    

4. National strategic direction on older people living with frailty, dementia, complex needs and multiple long-term conditions.  We call for access to comprehensive geriatric assessment, personalised care plans for treatment and long-term follow-up for all older people with frailty, dementia, complex and multiple long-term conditions.  These can only be provided consistently and effectively through ensuring that staffing is at a level which is adequate for delivery of that care and follow-up.

5. Support staff across all care sectors to develop competencies in the management of older patients.  Requiring the regulatory and advisory bodies to incorporate competencies in the management of older people into their curricula, guidance, professional and quality standards is a key component in improving quality of healthcare for older people which requires further development.  

6. Measurement of care to focus on what matters most to older people and their families.  We call for a national set of indicators and outcomes to strengthen the measurement of older people’s experience of care pathways, access to care and care outcomes and to ensure that what matters most to older people and their families is fully measured and improvements can be tracked over time."


[Download letter in pdf format] to Ms Bradley:

We therefore bring to your attention the steps we believe Government must take if we are to continue to meet the health needs of older people in Northern Ireland.

"1. Health promotion activity should be fully embedded in primary care, secondary care, social care and health education.  This approach will deliver benefits for the individual, their wider family circle and to society by reducing chronic disease.  BGS calls on the Northern Ireland Assembly to prioritise obesity, alcohol, smoking prevention programmes.  Mental health is linked with physical health and wellbeing.  BGS supports the Northern Ireland Assembly’s delivery of the Bamford vision for mental health and learning disability.

2 Investment in healthcare and social support for older people through sufficient funding to the NHS for achieving the goals of the Five Year Forward view, and to local authorities to enable them to meet their social care obligations, including those to older people.  

3 Building greater capacity in intermediate care.  BGS calls on the Northern Ireland Assembly to increase its investment in building the capacity of those services which provide a link between home and acute hospital for older people who need rehabilitation, re-ablement, or sub-acute treatment.  We believe the development of and investment in intermediate care services is fundamental to reducing the number of delayed transfers from hospital to home.

4 National strategic direction on older people living with frailty, dementia, complex needs and multiple long-term conditions.  We call for access to comprehensive geriatric assessment, personalised care plans for treatment and long-term follow-up for all older people with frailty, dementia, complex and multiple long-term conditions.  These can only be provided consistently and effectively through ensuring that staffing is at a level which is adequate for delivery of that care and follow-up.

5 Support staff across all care sectors to develop competencies in the management of older patients.  Requiring the regulatory and advisory bodies to incorporate competencies in the management of older people into their curricula, guidance, professional and quality standards is a key component in improving quality of healthcare for older people which requires further development.  

6 Measurement of care to focus on what matters most to older people and their families.  We call for a national set of indicators and outcomes to strengthen the measurement of older people’s experience of care pathways, access to care and care outcomes and to ensure that what matters most to older people and their families is fully measured and improvements can be tracked over time."

 

 

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