People in England can now expect to live for far longer than ever before – but these extra years of life are not always spent in good health, with many people developing conditions that reduce their independence and quality of life.
The NHS has a key role to play in helping older people manage these long-term conditions, making sure they receive the right kind of support to help them live as well as possible.
Our NHS Long Term Plan will give them greater control over the care they receive, with more care and support being offered in or close to people’s homes, rather than in hospital.
We will also make better use of technology such as wearable devices and monitors to support people with long term health problems in new ways, helping them to stay well and live independently for longer.
What we will do
- Promote a multidisciplinary team approach where doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals work together in an integrated way to provide tailored support that helps people live well and independently at home for longer
- Give people more say about the care and support they receive, particularly towards the end of their lives
- Offer more support for people who look after family members, partners or friends because of their illness, frailty or disability
- Develop more rapid community response teams, to support older people with health issues before they need hospital treatment and help those leaving hospital to return and recover at home
- Offer more NHS support in care homes including making sure there are strong links between care homes, local general practices and community services. An updated version of The Framework for Enhanced Health in Care Homes’ has now been published.
Putting it into practice – Ray’s story
The Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre (ICC) in Hull is a totally different way of caring for patients.
Ray Eshelby was one of the first patients at the Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre (ICC). Prior to his visit he had been housebound with a number of long term health problems which had left him at a very low point.
Initially, Ray was anxious about coming into the ICC but following an assessment at home to look at his health and care needs, he was accompanied by his wife and carer Val to the centre. There he received support from a number of health professionals working together, including a community geriatrician who reviewed his medication.
Now on better medication and with an electric wheelchair, Ray was more confident about leaving his house, and was able to spend time in East Park with Val in the Hull neighbourhood where they had lived all their lives.