Services need to be more integrated

Older people’s services must work together if they are to meet the
needs of older people, says a new report from the Audit Commission.

The report, published this week, claims that too often individuals
receive a disjointed and confused response when they need help or
advice. It states that a successful system of care, where services
are organised around the older person, requires a shared vision, a
comprehensive range of services, and a way of guiding people to
ensure they receive the help they need.

Leadership and organisational culture are critical to achieving
this, the report says.

It describes “one of the greatest challenges” to improving care for
older people as having the right number of staff with the right
skills and experience.

This requires a joined-up approach to the workforce, bringing
together local authorities, the voluntary and independent sectors
and the NHS, and incorporating a joint strategy for recruiting and
retaining staff and the flexible use of staff resources.

Although the report highlights some structural changes that have
removed barriers to greater integration between the NHS and local
authorities, such as care trusts and Health Act flexibilities, it
warns against moving towards care trust status unless a solid
foundation of partnership is already in place. 

Integrated Services for Older People from

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