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King’s Fund goals ‘blueprint’ for older people's care, says CSP chief

6 March 2014 - 3:26pm

Karen Middleton, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said the King’s Fund’s report on health and care for an ageing population is a ‘blueprint’ for improvement.

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The report, available to download below, contains data and illustrations for annual costs by age and service area

The report says that transforming services for older people will require a fundamental shift towards care coordinated around individual needs rather than single diseases.

Health and care services have failed to keep up with dramatic demographic changes, according to the think tank. By 2030 one in five people in England will be over the age of 65.

It calls for prevention and support for maintaining independence to be prioritised.

‘Today’s report from the King’s Fund provides a blueprint for reducing these delayed discharges through integrated community services, and physiotherapy is a critical component of this approach,’ said Ms Middleton.

‘Community physiotherapy services enable people to retain their independence, manage their own condition and live as full a life as possible.

‘This is good for the individual and reduces costs for the NHS.’

The report identifies components of care that need to improve with goals which include:

  • Enabling older people to live well with stable long-term conditions, avoiding unnecessary complications and acute crises
  • Improving collaboration between the NHS and social care to ensure that patients can leave hospital promptly when their treatment is complete, with good support available in the community
  • Ensuring older people have rapid access to urgent care in times of crisis, including effective alternatives to hospital.

Integrated working across teams, so that the right mix of services is available at the right time, will be key to achieving these goals.

Ms Middleton added: ‘The recommendations in this report make a compelling case for how we can meet the challenge of keeping more people living well into later life.’

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