Poor IT infrastructure at primary care trusts is hampering the
implementation of the single assessment process for older people, a
survey by Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley has revealed,
writes Derren Hayes.
The survey of PCTs and strategic health authorities also revealed a
catalogue of problems and missed targets in implementing the
National Service Framework for Older People.
There have been concerns for more than a year over the robustness
of the IT systems that support the SAP for older people, and
Gidley’s report finds that many PCTs cited this as a reason
it failed to introduce it by the target date of April. She
recommends the government consider providing an IT package to
assist the implementation of SAP, including guidance on data
“The SAP is impossible to achieve without major investment in
human resources and electronic backup,” one PCT said.
The survey showed 43 per cent of PCTs had failed to meet the April
2004 milestone for every GP practice to use agreed protocols to
treat and care for dementia patients, while 18 per cent of SHAs
failed to ensure health improvement plans included the development
of mental health services for older people.
Nearly half of PCTs were unable to provide information regarding
medication review while of those that did 35 per cent failed to
meet the target to review the medications of the over-75s annually
and 28 per cent failed to carry out 6 monthly reviews of those on
four or more medicines.