The national service framework for older people has been
announced promising an end to discrimination against older people
in health and social care services.
New national standards and service models will be set to help
improve the standard of care for older people. Performance
indicators, “programmes to support implementation” and “milestones”
will all be established and the Social Services Inspectorate and
the National Care Standards Commission will monitor
A new single assessment process across health and social care
will “put an end to piecemeal, repetitive assessments and offering
co-ordinated delivery of care”.
Older people can also expect not to be taken unnecessarily into
hospital, with improved treatment and care at home or in
Guidance has also been issued for councils and NHS organisations
on how to improve community equipment services essential to
development of intermediate care of older people.
The government has promised £120 million to refurbish
‘Nightingale wards’ in addition to £1.4 billion already
earmarked for investment in health and social care announced with
last year’s NHS Plan.
Each local authority will be expected to appoint ‘an older
patient champion’ to ensure there is no age discrimination in the
provision of services.
Ian Philp, national director of older people’s services, said
age discrimination should become “a thing of the past”.
“People in older age groups often have complex health needs,
including physical, mental and social aspects. Our services need to
mirror that situation. This will mean much closer working between
health and social care partners,” he said.
Tessa Harding, head of policy at Help the Aged, said: “Help the
Aged warmly welcomes the fact that the national service framework
brings social care and housing right into the frame. This is the
kind of joined-up thinking we need – older people’s needs can’t be
parcelled up into separate bundles.”