BGS manifesto for the 2017 General Election
The British Geriatrics Society's vision is for a society where all older people receive high quality, patient-centred care when and where they need it.
In its 70th anniversary year the BGS has seven calls for action. We call on the incoming Government to take action to ensure:
- Sufficient investment in the NHS and social care
- Full integration of services
- A lasting solution to the current crisis in social care
- Greater capacity in intermediate care
- Access to comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) and personalised care plans for all older people with frailty, dementia and complex and multiple long-term conditions
- All who care for older people have the right skills
- The commitment and expertise of the current workforce is better recognised
1. Sufficient investment in the NHS and social care
The current model of health and social care is not sustainable in the long-term. We believe that increased investment in health and social care for older people is the only way to secure the future sustainability of the NHS.
- Underfunding of social care leads to delayed transfers of care. Older people often remain in hospital for longer than necessary because of lack of capacity in the social care system.
- The inter-dependent nature of health and social care means that greater investment in a fully integrated system is urgently needed.
2. Full integration of services
We call on the incoming Government to speed up the journey towards full integration.
- Person-centred care requires a fully integrated service model which ends the divide between health and social care. It also requires a move away from traditional divides between primary, intermediate and hospital care.
3. A lasting solution to the current crisis in social care
Many older people living with frailty, dementia and other complex long-term conditions are experiencing poor health outcomes because investment in social care has not kept pace with the increase in demand.
- An urgent review of the funding of social care for older people is needed in order to deliver a fair and lasting solution.
4. Greater capacity in intermediate care
Services which provide a link between acute hospital and home play a critical role in the healthcare of older people who need rehabilitation, re-ablement and sub-acute treatment.
- Delays in access to these services have considerable costs, both to health outcomes for older people and to the NHS. The critical role of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals needs to be more fully recognised in the planning and funding of healthcare for older people.
5. Access to comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) and personalised care plans for all older people with frailty, dementia and complex and multiple long-term conditions
CGA and personalised care plans are the means to delivering integrated, person-centred care which delivers positive outcomes for older people, and makes best use of the expertise of the professionals working with them.
- A strategic approach is required to meeting the health and social care needs of older people living with frailty, dementia, complex needs and multiple long-term conditions.
6. All who care for older people have the right skills
We need to ensure that people with the right skills, training and specialist expertise are available to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing numbers of older people with frailty, dementia and complex long-term conditions.
- We call for the regulatory and advisory bodies to be required to include competencies in the management of older people in their curricula, guidance, professional and quality standards as a key component in improving the quality of healthcare for older people.
7. The commitment and expertise of the current workforce is better recognised
There is an urgent need for more geriatricians and other specialists in older people’s healthcare.
- There is clear evidence that where there is close multi-disciplinary working between geriatricians, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, social workers and other health and social care professionals, outcomes for older people’s health are significantly improved. Effective multi-disciplinary working requires adequate levels of staffing.
- There is a need to better recognise and celebrate the commitment and expertise of the current workforce.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues with us, or would like further information, please contact our Policy Manager, Caroline Cooke, policy [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk