About the toolkit
You are an anaesthetist, a surgeon, an oncology specialist, or other acute care physician. In your service, your and other team members’ training may not have focused on the needs of older people. There may be a lack of confidence and expertise in managing older people and conditions associated with ageing. Yet you are interested in improving care for these patients who come to your service. You may have seen research evidence and you may have talked to your colleagues and reflected on personal experience. You may have collected own data showing the care for frail older people in your service could be improved. Or you may have been asked to improve your service performance in respect to this patient group.
This is a first chapter in a series. See the rest of the series here
There are different starting points on your journey to improve care for frail older people in your service, and this toolkit will try to assist you on that journey.
Each chapter brings together knowledge about key challenges in improving healthcare, resources proven to help in overcoming these challenges (many have been collated online as part of the NHS Change Model, the NHS Scotland Quality Improvement Hub, and the Welsh 1000 Lives Plus), and experiences of those who have successfully improved care for frail older people in acute settings across the country. This way the toolkit aims to bring together a combination of clinical and implementation knowledge, together with practical experiences of leaders in improving care for frail older people.
A key part of the toolkit is the self-assessment (Chapter 2), a unique tool developed to give your team the opportunity to identify service level competencies that are already in place and those in need of further development. It also offers recommendations about what to do when gaps in service provision are identified.
The toolkit is aimed at teams who will lead on improving the care for frail older people provided by their services. To be successful, improvement efforts require a concerted effort of a range of actors, not only those “on the ground” but also actors located outside individual services. The toolkit will eventually be supplemented by several other interventions, currently in development, that will target other audiences at the levels of strategic and operational management, and a tool to help patients and carers take an active role in their care. We believe that a multi-level approach to improvement enhances the chances of more effective change (see Box 1), and ensure that clinicians and their colleagues “on the ground” are not working in isolation.