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Poor care in homes leading to hospital admissions

9th August 2012

A study from the King’s Fund has found that hundreds of thousands of elderly people are being admitted to hospital as emergencies because of poor care in the community.

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The think tank concluded that the failure of GPs, community health services and social care services to work together meant a large number of over 65s ended up in hospital.

They said that 2.3m overnight stays in hospital could be prevented if all areas of the country performed as well as the top 25%, making savings of £462m that could be reinvested to keep older people being cared for in their own homes.

There was also wide variation in the use of emergency hospital beds but its use was low where there was good integration between community services.

That low emergency bed use was most evident in rural primary care trusts and those with large elderly populations.

Primary care trusts with the highest emergency bed use were: Trafford, Manchester, Hounslow, Wandsworth, Haringey Teaching, Waltham Forest, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Bristol, and Ealing.

Those with the lowest were: Torbay, Herefordshire, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, North Staffordshire, Shropshire County, Great Yarmouth and Waveney, North East Essex, Norfolk, Redcar and Cleveland.

The Patients Association said the implications of the report were important and needed to be recognised.

Health Minister Anne Milton said: “This report shows that driving up quality is not only good for patients but can also save the NHS money. This is why we are focusing on integrating care.”

 

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