NHS Confederation Launches Commission for Improvements in Care for Older People
The NHS Confederation has launched an independent commission to drive improvements in urgent and emergency care for older people. The commission, chaired by former trust chief executive Dr Mark Newbold, is a joint initiative of the Confederation’s three forums – the Community Health Services Forum, the Hospitals Forum, and the Urgent and Emergency Care Forum. Bringing together leaders from hospitals, community services, local government and specialist clinicians, it aims to address the challenges of caring for older people.
The group will discuss what the optimum urgent care services for older people look like, and what needs to change in order for safe and timely care to be given to older people. They will consider what new skills might be required from the health and social care workforce, and what is needed from other providers such as GP practices, community and social services. The question of why the shift from acute to wider community care has been slow and variable will be addressed, and they will try to establish how progress can be facilitated in the future.
“Much guidance on improving urgent care services for older people has already been issued, with key principles established and widely agreed, but progress on putting in place new services that require NHS organisations to work together has been slow,” says Dr Mark Newbold. “By using the broad membership of the NHS Confederation we can address the reasons for this, and produce recommendations that are both clinically guided and supported by all parties in local health communities, including hospitals, local authorities, community providers and General Practitioners. This will greatly assist with implementation of these vital services.”
The commission will hold a number of sessions in which workable solutions for the caring of older people will be discussed, as well as workshops which will help providers and commissioners implement findings. Final recommendations will be published at the end of the year.
“I am delighted that Mark is leading this work,” says Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation. “His experience and wisdom, harnessed to the Confederation’s system leadership role, will be vital in helping our members deliver change.”
“We know that older people are not the problem here and deserve dignified care,” he adds. “This commission will bring together all relevant parts of the system to examine the issues and look at workable ways for local health and social care organisations to work together in the interest of these patients, our staff and our organisations.”