Health and social care for older people with long-term illness costs £30 billion per year. This cost is only set to rise as the number of over 65s is expected to double in the next 20 years.
Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions’ new report discusses the challenges in caring for the increasing numbers of frail older people and suggests that improvements are needed on three fronts: physical and mental healthcare, social care and place of care.
The report covers four key themes:
- the extent and impact of changing demographics
- the barriers to ensuring health and social care is fit for purpose
- new approaches and models of care
- the improvements needed in each place of care.
The report suggests several solutions to help tackle the challenges in caring for frail older people:
- better information sharing to enable providers to plan and manage care more effectively and wider use of technology, such as telemedicine, to prevent or delay the need for expensive institutional care
- annual frailty checks and priority access, rapid assessment and diagnosis schemes for everyone over 75
- greater individual involvement in care through self-management support services
- improved living conditions by budgeting on a personal or per capita basis in order to fund home repairs, adaptations and homecare support
- cultural changes in both the NHS and social care to increase joint responsibility for organising services and adopting new contracting and funding models.