Election campaign: Focus on older people

    Nine out of 10 social care professionals working with older
    people think they are being discharged from hospital too early,
    according to an exclusive poll carried out for Community
    , writes Paul Stephenson.

    The survey of 1,450 professionals found 89 per cent thought
    pressure on beds meant premature discharge. In addition, 93 per
    cent thought many admissions could have been prevented in the first
    place if the needs of the older people had been met earlier.

    Alarmingly, half of the respondents said they did not agree that
    most staff working with older people were adequately trained. Only
    a quarter thought older people received good care in hospitals and
    residential care homes.

    The poll also found:-

    * More than 95 per cent say there aren’t enough good
    quality services for older people with mental health problems

    * 85 per cent think as a society we need to pay more to ensure
    older people get good services.

    * 96 per cent think care services for older people will need to
    change drastically to cope with changing expectations as society

    The view of the professionals was endorsed in a separate survey of
    nearly 2,000 members of the public, with 83 per cent saying there
    would be less pressure on hospitals if care was better in care
    homes or the community.

    The surveys, part of Community Care’s Election
    2005 campaign, were complemented by a report from Gillian Crosby
    and Angela Clark at the Centre for Policy on Ageing, which calls
    for a strategic approach to addressing the needs of older

    For more information on our campaign go to www.communitycare.co.uk/election


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