Growing old my way: Review of the impact of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People in Wales
Health and social care need to work better together with other partners to shift the focus of care to health promotion, prevention, well-being and empowerment for older people in Wales.
This is the message from a joint report published today. Growing old my way: Review of the impact of the National Service Framework (NSF) for Older People in Wales sets out the findings from a joint review carried out by two inspectorates - Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).
Focusing on older people’s services seen through the ‘lens of someone with dementia’, the review concluded that the NSF has had an impact in Wales. Together with related strategies and the role of the Older People’s Commissioner, it has raised the profile of services received by older people in Wales and highlighted the need for them to be treated as individuals and without discrimination.
The review also highlighted that across Wales a number of innovative and valuable services and support mechanisms for older people have been put in place. For example:
- Exercise and activity classes
- Lunch clubs
- Shop and drop internet services such as the Food Solutions Project in Flintshire
- Television adverts such as the FAST advert for stroke
However, the review also found that:
- Greater focus is needed at a local level in health promotion, prevention and community services if we are to help and support people to live healthy and longer lives.
- Older people with complex needs often end up in hospital when in reality for many it is the last place they should be.
- When older people do get admitted to hospital they are frequently there for too long and as a result their independence and confidence is impacted upon.
The report also refers to ongoing concerns around the fundamental aspects of care, dignity and respect that are essential for anyone accessing health and social care services, many of which were also raised by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales in her earlier report ‘Dignified Care’?
Speaking on behalf of the two inspectorates, Peter Higson, Chief Executive, HIW said:
We found many examples of innovative and valued services for older people across Wales. However, the full implementation and consequent benefits of the NSF are still some way off, and health and social care organisations more to do in terms of refocusing their approach and agenda to one of prevention and empowerment. What is needed is for health, local authorities and third sector organisations to focus on collectively delivering further changes and improvements to the benefit of all older people in Wales.
CSSIW and HIW intend to work closely with the Older People’s Commissioner and the Board of Community Health Councils to follow up on the reports findings and help drive the improvement needed in services for Older People in Wales.
Ruth Marks, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales said:
It just makes sense that health and social care work closely together. Older people regularly tell me that partnership working makes a real difference to them. This report has highlighted important issues for older people in receiving services, and I will continue to closely monitor progress to ensure that these issues are addressed.