Project to improve healthcare in care homes

14 May 2013

A three-year study led by the University of Hertfordshire aims to improve the inconsistent delivery of healthcare to care homes. It will identify methods of effective working to evaluate the delivery of optimal care and inform future commissioning of services.

Professor Claire Goodman, at the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, said: “We know from our research that NHS services focus on diagnosis, treatment and support at specific times, whereas care homes prioritise on-going support and relationships that nurture a continuous review of the older person’s care.”

In England, most long-term care for older people is provided by independent care homes. These older people are in the last years of their life and have a complex range of health and social care needs. They rely on primary healthcare services for medical care and also for access to nursing, specialist services and secondary healthcare. Yet, according to some recently published research, access to NHS services is inconsistent and determined by local custom and practice rather than the particular needs of the care home residents.

Professor Goodman continued: “We now have a good understanding of many of the barriers affecting how healthcare services work with care homes, and too many examples of when the oldest and most vulnerable members of society do not receive adequate health care. What is needed is evidence of the best ways of working between healthcare services and providers of care which benefit care home residents, their families and the care home staff, as well as making the best use of NHS resources.”

The project will be conducted in collaboration with University of Nottingham, University of Surrey, Brunel University, City University, Kings College London and University College London. It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme.


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