Better care for the elderly

HERE TO HELP: Decision makers from the health, social care and voluntary sector get together to improve services for the elderly in Hartlepool

IMPROVED services for the elderly have come under the spotlight at a summit in Hartlepool.

Experts from numerous sectors came together to look at how better arrangements can be put in place for older people in the town.

Mounting demands are being placed on services which cater for people with conditions such as stroke and dementia.

And with an increasingly ageing population, the NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) held a summit is focusing on how improvements could be made for vulnerable elderly people in the area.

Decision makers from the health, social care and voluntary sector met at Wynyard to discuss issues such as integrated care, making sure elderly people experience a service that reflects their needs, and improving co-ordination between different organisations.

Dr Paul Williams, from the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Making a difference and providing high quality, safe care is at the centre of the CCG’s ambitions for local people in Hartlepool.

“Frail and elderly people are recognised as one of the highest users of health and social care services. More people are living longer and they are also living with more complex health problems.

“It was heartening to see professionals and voluntary agencies from health, social care, housing and carers organisations all talking about how care could be improved for this group of people.

“We want to have a system of outstanding health and social care that is built around the needs of people rather than services. We also want to see service integration so that a person only needs to tell their story once, and all professionals working to a jointly agreed care plan.

“Above all we hope that an admission to hospital or a care home will be a last resort. We should focus on prevention and keeping people well and in their homes for as long as possible. This means supporting people and their carers in new ways.”

“Our local health and social care services will spend more than £14m to develop this integrated local health and social care service from 2015. It will focus on joint assessments and care plans for those most in need, and will especially try to help those living in the community with dementia.”