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CSP supports recommendations on better care for older people

7 October 2013 - 5:08pm

The CSP has welcomed the publication of two documents which focus on improving the care and treatment of older people.

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The report Dignified Care - Two Years On recommends stronger ward leadership to foster a culture of dignity and respect and better knowledge of the needs of older people with dementia

A report by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales’ titled Dignified Care – Two Years On, published on 23 September, says that the NHS in Wales must strengthen its accountability and transparency.

Public information

It calls for information about health services for older people, including how they meet the needs of patients, where they need to improve and when that improvement will be delivered, to be made public.

Commissioner Sarah Rochira says in the report: ‘Early work has begun on this within Wales, which I welcome, but this must be treated as a priority.’

She says that significant progress has been made against 12 recommendations made in her 2011 report, Dignified Care?

Stronger ward leadership

The recommendations include stronger ward leadership to foster a culture of dignity and respect; better knowledge of the needs of older people with dementia; and that sharing of patients’ personal information in the hearing of others should cease, where possible.

According to Ms Rochira, action plans developed and implemented by NHS organisations have had an impact in improving the care of older people in hospital.

Commenting on the report, CSP policy officer for Wales, Philippa Ford, said it highlighted how important it was for physiotherapists to be aware of the experiences of older people.

‘The older people’s commissioner has signalled that she is continuing to keep dignity and respect high on her agenda in relation to hospital care,’ said Ms Ford.

‘Physiotherapy services across Wales are playing their part in responding to the 12 recommendations, but will need to regularly review whether they are effectively taking feedback from older people and making the services responsive to their needs.’

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Service Framework for Older People, launched by minister for health, social services and public safety Edwin Poots, sets out standards to improve the health and wellbeing of older people by promoting social inclusion, reducing inequalities in health and social wellbeing, and improving the quality of care.

The document’s recommendations include that all older people should have access to independent advocacy that provides information, advice and support to enable them to make informed choices and be fully involved in decisions affecting them.

Tom Sullivan, CSP policy officer for Northern Ireland, said the framework emphasises person-centred care and the importance of older people being involved in the planning of their care needs and treated fairly and with respect.

‘We hope that the recommendations contained in the framework will provide more timely access to rehabilitation services and physiotherapy to help meet the complex needs of older people at right time in the right location,’ he said.

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