Fife’s older population should receive the best quality of care and support that can be provided for them. With the population aged 65 and over estimated to increase by 62 percent by 2031 and for those aged 85 and over by 144 per cent, no single organisation can provide it all. As the numbers of elderly people grow and, in particular, the number of frail elderly, we need to find new ways of meeting people’s needs and aspirations.
Most people want to remain living at home for as long as possible. They want to receive services in their own homes and in their local communities which keep them well and offer a good quality of life without the need for hospital admission.
Developing services which are targeted to meet people’s needs is the vision for NHS Fife, Fife Council and their partners in the voluntary and private sectors, as they begin to create a more sustainable and better integrated set of services that will support independence and provide personalised care.
The National Reshaping Care for Older People Programme was launched in March 2010 to support Health and Social Care Partnerships shift the balance from institutional care to care at home, using Change Fund money.
Fife Council is transforming the way in which Home Care services are delivered to address the demographic and economic challenges in the years ahead and this fits well with the Scottish Government’s Reshaping Care Programme.
NHS Fife has undertaken similar pieces of work and together with the Council is developing plans to redesign the way in which people who are at risk of an unplanned admission to hospital could receive the care and treatment they need in their own home. This will reduce the instance of emergency hospital admissions and reduce delayed discharges. Medical care would be provided by a community geriatrician.
Clinical Director and Project Lead, Dr Les Bisset explained: “The shift is to move away from institutional care, whether in hospital or in care homes by significantly increasing community services to meet growing demand.”
“The initial focus of the service will be to provide an alternative to emergency hospital admissions for those who can be cared for at home. We are redesigning services to provide the best possible support to aid recovery and help the patient regain and maintain their independence.”
“For those patients best suited to hospital admission, we anticipate they will spend less time in hospital due to the improved community services we can offer.”
It is proposed that the new service will be in place across Fife by late 2012.