Better Care For Frail Older People: A Right That Needs To Become A Reality

Advances in science and technology and year on year increases in funding have made a significant contribution to our ability to treat, manage and prevent disease. This success has led to increased longevity and a relatively active and prosperous older generation who provide an invaluable economic and social contribution to society. It has also contributed to what is arguably the most daunting challenge facing the UK health and social care system today - the need to care for and support growing numbers of medically complex, frailer older people with increasingly limited resources. As a result the current model of care for our most vulnerable members of society is at a tipping point and no longer fit for purpose.

Deloitte's report titled 'Better care for frail older people' outlines the need to change the current health and social care delivery model to improve care for frail older people and explores how providers and commissioners can work differently to drive quality and efficiency and improve people's experience in each place of care that they encounter.

The scale of the problem

Since 2010-11, real-term funding for healthcare in England has been almost flat against a background of increasing demand for services of around four per cent per annum, driven largely by an ageing population, whose number and prevalence of chronic disease is growing. At the same time social care support is reducing, restricted to those with substantial or critical needs. We estimate that current NHS and social care spend on the over 65s living with at least one long term condition is at least £30 billion a year. However this is spent largely on expensive acute intervention and residential care rather than on prevention, self-management, early intervention, and helping people live well and independently for longer. The number of people failed by the current system stands to increase considerably unless we act fast and adopt, as a matter of urgency, new models of care which address the current physical, mental and social care needs of our valuable, yet increasingly vulnerable, older generation.

Barriers to better services for frail elderly

Delivering the much needed change is challenging due to a number of entrenched barriers to better care, including:

separate funding models for health and social care despite the fact that older people's needs are increasingly interdependent, with significant cultural and behavioural tensions undermining efforts to integrate and...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT