Every year, the NHS experiences more than 2 million unplanned hospital admissions for people over 65 (accounting for 68 per cent of hospital emergency bed days and the use of more than 51,000 acute beds at any one time). With an ageing population and a challenging financial context, such pressures show no sign of abating – and the NHS is having to find ways of reducing emergency hospital admissions (in situations where care can be provided as effectively elsewhere). Often, the assumption in policy and media debates seems to be that potentially large numbers of older people are admitted to hospital without really needing the services provided there, but because there is nowhere else for them to go or because other services are not operating effectively. Continue reading →
There is a clear divergence emerging between each region in the UK in terms of the nature and pace of implementing a policy framework that supports older service users and promotes a person-centred framework.
Following devolution, Scotland and Wales have developed adult social care strategies underpinned by person-centred principles through divergent policies and provision from each other and England. Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, policy developments have not progressed at the same pace as the rest of the UK and there has been emphasis on a person-centred policy for adult social care users. The acknowledged shift in dependency ratios and increasing social care projects have emphasised a sense of urgency to reform adult social care policy in Northern Ireland. Continue reading →
Jonathan Wistow, Lena Dominelli, Katie Oven, Christine Dunn, and Sarah Curtis, from Durham University, discuss their latest article from EPSRC-funded research, “The role of formal and informal networks in supporting older people’s care during extreme weather events”. This article is now available on fast track.
Climate change and demographic projections point, respectively, to more frequent occurrences of extreme weather and an ageing population. Taken together these provide new dynamics to which health and social care systems need to respond. Firstly, demographic change will lead to a growth in the population group that relies most on services within health and social care systems. Secondly, the increased frequency of extreme weather events can have serious effects on the services, buildings, communication routes and utilities that are important for health and social care of older people.