Project to improve healthcare in care homes
14 May 2013
A three-year study led by the University of Hertfordshire aims to
improve the inconsistent delivery of healthcare to care homes. It
will identify methods of effective working to evaluate the delivery
of optimal care and inform future commissioning of services.
Professor Claire Goodman, at the University of Hertfordshire’s
Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, said: “We know
from our research that NHS services focus on diagnosis, treatment
and support at specific times, whereas care homes prioritise
on-going support and relationships that nurture a continuous review
of the older person’s care.”
In England, most long-term care for older people is provided by
independent care homes. These older people are in the last years of
their life and have a complex range of health and social care needs.
They rely on primary healthcare services for medical care and also
for access to nursing, specialist services and secondary healthcare.
Yet, according to some recently published research, access to NHS
services is inconsistent and determined by local custom and practice
rather than the particular needs of the care home residents.
Professor Goodman continued: “We now have a good understanding of
many of the barriers affecting how healthcare services work with
care homes, and too many examples of when the oldest and most
vulnerable members of society do not receive adequate health care.
What is needed is evidence of the best ways of working between
healthcare services and providers of care which benefit care home
residents, their families and the care home staff, as well as making
the best use of NHS resources.”
The project will be conducted in collaboration with University of
Nottingham, University of Surrey, Brunel University, City
University, Kings College London and University College London. It
is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health
Services and Delivery Research Programme.