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A  better deal for older people in later life                            Archive




The National Service Framework for Older People(NSF) is a government initiative that sets national minimum standards for the care of older people in all settings across health and social services. On paper, it sounds very good, especially in its aim to combine health and social services. Many of the standards are expected to be met in 2002, though others will take longer. 

It`s aims include:

  • ensuring that older people’s views are properly represented in decision-making about care;

  • designating champions for older people;

  • establishing an interagency group, and local arrangements for implementing the NSF; and

  • prioritising older people in generic programmes relating to finance, workforce developments and information systems.

The NSF has set out eight standards which are:

  • Rooting out age discrimination -  NHS services will be provided, regardless of age, on the basis of clinical need alone. 

  • Person- centred care-    NHS and social care services should treat older people as individuals and enable them to make choices about their own care. This will be achieved through a single assessment process, integrated commissioning arrangements and integrated provision of services, including community equipment and continence services. 

  • Intermediate care - Older people will have access to a new range of “intermediate” care services at home or in designated care settings. The aim is to promote effective rehabilitation services, enabling early discharge from hospital and preventing premature or unnecessary admission to long-term residential care.

  • General hospital care - Older people’s care in hospital is to be delivered through appropriate specialist care, and by hospital staff who have the right set of skills to meet their needs. By April 2002, all general hospitals should have identified an old age specialist team and appointed nursing leaders with responsibility for older people.

  • Stroke - The NHS should take action to prevent strokes. By April 2004, 100% of all general hospitals which care for people with strokes will have a specialist stroke service.

  • Falls -  The NHS, working with local authorities, will take action to prevent falls in their populations of older people. Effective treatment, rehabilitation and advice to carers, will be part of a specialised falls service;

  • Mental health in older people -  There will be access to integrated mental health services, provided by the NHS and social services, to ensure effective diagnosis, treatment and support. By April 2004, local plans should also include the promotion of health and active living in older age through a co-ordinated programme of action, and to increase physical activity, improve diet and nutrition, and manage influenza (particularly the use of immunisation)

Progress towards achieving the standards will be measured locally using milestones for each standard. A National Taskforce for Older People will oversee implementation of the NSF, which runs for ten years.   

Information taken from the newsletter of Relatives and Residents Association, an organisation that provides support and advice to older people and their relatives who use, or may use, long term care. 

General enquiries:  5 Tavistock Place, London WC1H9SN   tel no  020 7692 4302




laterlife interest

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