Professor champions minimum data sets

Posted on April 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

Until we have a single tool for assessing the care needs of older people we won’t be able to work in multi-disciplinary teams, says Professor Malcolm Johnson, director of the International Institute on Health and Ageing. Prof. Johnson told the Care Forum Wales annual conference that there were more than 100 different tools for assessing the needs of older people. “We are squandering professional resources on often meaningless assessments, and we determine the course of people’s lives with these,” he said, warning that if no common benchmark was adopted, the legal wrangles over care standards would continue. “I find the present system of inspection to be tokenistic, inappropriate and not defensible,” he said. “None of the new assessment tools cover the whole spectrum of older people’s needs, with the exception of the Minimum Data Set (MDS).” Prof. Johnson said MDS was developed in the Unites States in the 1980s. “It offers an utterly reliable set of assessments and is now in use in 15 other countries,” he sa

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