14 October 2016
A major report by the national independent care regulator has this week highlighted how elderly and frail people are ending up in A&E because there is a shortage of the right support in the community.
The annual State of Care report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) says the lack of services to support the frail and elderly and keep them healthy at home is impacting on the performance of NHS care as hospitals are having to look after patients who have no medical need to be there.
Health bosses in Devon say it is exactly this issue which it is tackling with the Your Future Care proposals currently being consulted on.
NHS NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group recognised the impact on local health services of an ageing population, more people with long-term conditions and a challenging economic climate and it is this which underpins and drives the Your Future Care model of care.
The aim is to provide effective and easily-accessible care and support in the community so people are not being sent to hospital just because services are not available to look after them at home.
GP David Jenner, chair of CCG’s Eastern locality, said: "In Your Future Care, the aim is to provide effective and easily-accessible care and support in the community so people are not being sent to hospital just because services are not available to look after them at home.
“People tell us they prefer to be treated in their own homes if it is safe and appropriate to do so.
“If however they need hospital admission we should aim for them to return home quickly as soon as their condition allows.”
Every day in north, east and west Devon, up to 600 people are in hospitals (100 of these in community hospitals) who no longer have a medical need to be there.
The annual CQC report provides the most comprehensive view yet of CQC’s inspection findings from its new regulatory approach.
It states that the fragility of the adult social care market is beginning to impact both on the people who rely on these services and on the performance of NHS care with overstretched A&E departments or delays in people leaving hospital.
The report rated 22 of 184 A&E units in England rated ‘inadequate’.
In the report, David Behan, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: “Unless the health and social care system finds a better way to work together, I have no doubt that next year there will be more people whose needs aren’t meet, less improvement and more deterioration.”