British Geriatrics Society says NHS plan is right to focus on older people
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The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) has welcomed the launch of NHS England’s Five-Year Forward View which, says the BGS, offers “a bold set of recommendations for meeting the changing needs of patients, in particular the complex needs of frail older people”.
BGS research and guidance on the care of older patients supports the Forward View’s assertion that traditional divides between primary care, community services and hospitals are increasingly a barrier to integrated and patient-centred health services. This, says the BGS, is especially true for older patients living with multiple conditions including frailty and dementia, the 350,000 residents of care homes (whose needs the report explicitly prioritises), and the vulnerable “oldest old”
“NHS England’s recognition of the needs of frail older people is therefore extremely welcome: providing high-quality care to this specific group of patients will be crucial for building an effective system of health and social care for patients of all ages,” said BGS president Professor David Oliver.
“As the largest individual group of NHS service users, frail older people must be at the heart of any vision for improving and modernising healthcare provision. We also welcome a renewed focus on supporting the 5 million carers for older people.
“BGS members, including geriatricians, nurses and allied health professionals, are already engaged in experimentation and the development of care models at the interface between community and hospital, shaping new models of care which will better meet the needs of all of our population, including frail older people with complex needs.
“Putting the recommendations of this report into practice will be complex and demanding, particularly in areas such as the development of shared electronic records, new models or primary care, or more support for carers.
“The British Geriatrics Society and its members are excited to be part of that process, and to work closely with NHS England over the next five years and beyond.”