Physios should communicate more with home care staff, says NICE

Healthcare practitioners, such as physiotherapists, need to liaise with home care workers to ensure older people receive integrated, person-centred care.


The guideline recommends that time and encouragement are given to maximise independence and safety at home

This is one of the recommendations in a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline that aims to promote high quality home care for older people.

Recommendations include

  • older people and their carers should have access to their home care plans
  • ‘care diaries’ should be kept in older people’s homes, recording all the care and support provided and highlighting the person’s needs, preferences and experiences
  • health and social care practitioners should collaborate and communicate regularly about older people’s medication
  • practitioners should recognise that each person is an individual, with their own needs, wishes and priorities

Physiotherapist Vicky Johnston, chair of Agile, the professional network for chartered physiotherapists working with older people, said: ‘The guideline supports person-centred care.

‘It recommends that people and their carers are able to make informed choices about their home care, and are given the time and encouragement to maximise their independence and safety at home.

‘The guideline describes how we would like all home care to be planned and delivered, and I would suggest that all physiotherapists who are involved with patients who are receiving home care have a good read.’

NICE says that in 2011 one person in six in England and Wales was aged 65 or over. But the proportion is expected to rise to nearly one in four by 2035, which will lead to an increased demand for services to help older people live at home.

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