Nearly 400,000 older people live in care homes in the UK, and nearly 20% of those are aged 85 and over. The health and social needs of this population are complex – all have some disability, many have dementia, and collectively they have high rates of both necessary and avoidable hospital admissions.
New guidance from BGS outlines what the priority services should be for older care home residents. It also explains what the outcomes should be for residents themselves, for the local NHS and for local care homes as a result of having these services in place. It describes what activities will enable these outcomes to be achieved and suggests how services can be monitored and evaluated to see if they are having a positive impact.
Professor Finbarr Martin, former President of the British Geriatrics Society, said: “There is no reason why older care home residents should be missing out on high quality healthcare. The NHS can play an important role in supporting care home staff to ensure that older residents have a better quality of life. The evidence shows that healthcare services can be designed to deliver better care. Those responsible for planning what health services are needed locally must take notice of this evidence and ensure that they are not ignoring the needs and rights of this frail and vulnerable patient group.”
The guide is available on the BGS website along with reference material and links to useful resources, including case studies of successful services which have improved quality of care for older care home residents.