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NHS 'must work really well for older people' to be successful in future

Published on 31 March 2017 11:00 AM

As the NHS releases its Five Year Forward View, Age UK has highlighted how older people must be put at the centre of the UK's health service in order for it to be sustainable.

  • The Five Year Forward View setting out how the NHS will provide a better service in key areas
  • Part of the plan involves transforming older people's care to ease pressure on hospitals
  • Caroline Abrahams of Age UK says that while the charity supports this plan, the NHS must deliver in practice in order to succeed.

Forward view to tackle care gap and other key challenges   

As it approaches its 70th anniversary, the NHS has unveiled its Five Year Forward View, outlining the main improvements it will make to the service over the next five years.

Better care for older people is one of the five areas in which it seeks to deliver practical change. To achieve this, services provided by GPs, hospitals, therapists, nurses and care staff will be brought together, with the aim of reducing the time spent in hospital.

This marks a key step towards integrated care and will use technology to meet rising demand and provide a higher quality of care.

Age UK supports drive for better care

"It's good to see that improving provision for our older population is one of the five priorities in NHS's new plan and we strongly support the ambition of joining up care around their needs," said Age UK's Charity Director Caroline Abrahams in support of the new plan.

"Older people repeatedly tell us that they want to live independently and it is good for the taxpayer too as care homes and hospital care cost a lot more than someone living in their own home."

She noted that older people are the majority users of the NHS so it must work effectively for them if it is to be a successful service. "We hope the detail set out in the plan will spell out what that looks like in practice."

Which other areas are going to be improved?

In addition to care for older people, the other main areas affected by the Five Year Forward View are:

  • Improved cancer care, which the NHS aims to save an extra 5000 lives a year
  • Boosting mental health services by increasing beds for children and young people
  • Better access to GP services through longer opening hours
  • More efficient services and less waste

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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