Enhanced health in care homes: learning from experiences so far

Overview

  • Enhanced
    health in care homes is realistically achievable in any area of
    England. A history of joint working between relevant organisations –
    NHS, care homes and local authorities – is useful but not essential and,
    in some cases, significant results can be visible within a few months.
  • This
    report is based on interviews with people in 15 areas around England
    that could demonstrate progress in developing enhanced health in care
    homes.
  • Better ways of measuring
    impact, including effects on care quality and quality of life, are
    needed. Care home residents should be involved in defining what ‘good’
    co-ordination of care looks like.
  • Those
    in leadership roles need to constantly reinforce equal partnerships and
    avoid historical patterns of making decisions without consulting care
    homes, accepting lower access to health care for care home residents, or
    assuming that care home staff need additional training to enable
    co-ordinated care, but NHS staff do not.
  • Enhanced
    health in care homes requires skilled leadership. Networks and
    communities of practice are essential to support leaders at all levels
    and share learning.
  • More clarity is
    needed on expectations for access to health care for care home
    residents; resourcing enhanced health in care homes and understanding
    return on investment; and appropriate use of public funds to support
    training and information systems in independent care homes.

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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