Older people’s services must work together, says Audit Commission

Older people’s services must work together if they are to
meet the needs of older people as too often individuals receive a
disjointed and confused response when they need help or advice,
claims a new report from the Audit Commission, writes
Katie Leason

The report, published this week, states that a successful whole
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 through the system to ensure
they receive the help they need.

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

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 which
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 www.audit-commission.gov.uk



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