Lindsey Ashley is the Communications Manager for the NHS Benchmarking Network and is a strong advocate for benchmarking our NHS services.
It is recognised in the NHS and the media that older people are a major service user cohort for health and social care services, both in hospital (the acute setting) and in the community. It is well described that the population is ageing, as people are living longer, and as a result, there are more older people as a proportion of the overall population. Whilst overall life expectancy is rising, there are also significant inequalities across the country in terms of life expectancy.
Although the new models of care point towards more being delivered out of hospital, there will always be occasions when an older person needs a period of acute hospital care. It is essential that we understand the older person’s pathway through hospital and identify factors that can facilitate quality of care and timely discharge. The NHS Benchmarking Network’s project on Older People’s Care in Acute Settings aims to explore variability of practice in this important area.
In partnership with the British Geriatrics Society, the Older People’s Care in Acute Settings project will look at the pathways for older people through secondary care. Acute providers can learn how effective their services for older people are on the four elements of the acute pathway; dedicated support in A&E, assessment units, inpatient care, through to supported discharge. The project covers service models, the use of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA), finance, workforce, activity, quality and outcomes. This year, we are also collecting additional information on the supported discharge element of the acute pathway in response to key documents published this year on delayed transfers of care.
The project has opened for data collection and will run until 11th November 2016, we already have over 50 acute providers taking part, who will receive online benchmarked analysis and a bespoke report providing them with intelligence on their services compared to the national picture.
The NHS Benchmarking Network is a membership subscription service, in-house to the NHS and provides commissioners and providers of NHS services with access to a range of benefits and services. For further information on how to gain access to this service, please contact me at Lindsey.Ashley@nhs.net or call 0161 266 1997.