The British Geriatrics Society welcomes the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Report ‘Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers’, which addresses how health and social care services work together to provide integrated care for older people. In response to the report Dr Eileen Burns, President-Elect of The British Geriatrics Society and Clinical Lead for Integration in Leeds, commented:
“The CQC’s report ‘Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers’ accurately shows that although there is widespread commitment among health and social care professionals to providing integrated care for older people, there is still a long way to go. Findings from the report indicate that barriers include a lack of common understanding about how to deliver integrated care, a lack of consistency and mainstream implementation, as well as services struggling to identify older people who are at risk of deterioration or unplanned hospital visits. This report correctly identifies the opportunity that the 5 Year Forward View Vanguards and Sustainability and Transformation Plans offer to plan for and embed a shared vision of the delivery of integrated care.
The report also highlights additional critical issues affecting the delivery of older people’s care such as often having multiple care plans which are not being routinely linked, and patients not being involved in decision making about their care or how it will be coordinated. There was also evidence that, while there are many successful initiatives set up by local practitioners to encourage joint working these are often short-term, these are often reliant on partial or temporary funding.
We strongly support the recommendation that older patients, and their carers, should be provided with information about what services are available, and that they are meaningfully involved in making informed decisions about their care needs, care planning and what outcomes are important to them.The British Geriatrics Society urges all health and social care leaders, commissioners and local health care providers to review the report and implement its recommendations. Integrated and person centred care must be at the heart of decision making about provision. Investment in social and care services is fundamental to improving patient outcomes in our increasingly ageing population, and key to ensuring the future sustainability of our National Health Service”
Read the full CQC report ‘Building bridges, breaking barriers: Integrated care for older people‘