What the evidence tells us about improving urgent care for older people: a literature review to support the independent Commission on Improving Urgent Care for Older People

NHS Confederation
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Reports on a literature review commissioned by the Commission on Improving Urgent Care for Older People to identify factors that deliver better outcomes and success in the improvement of urgent care for older people. Specifically the review aimed to identify current national policy for improving urgent care in both health and social care; relevant national guidance; and examples of research, best practice and innovation. The findings are presented around the themes of: demographics and the population of older people; what is meant by urgent care; the needs of older people, including needs related to multiple long term conditions; the capacity of urgent care, workforce; what works in the current NHS and Adult Social Care system. The review found limited evidence relating specifically to older people in relation to urgent care. It also identified a lack of consensus on what the term ‘urgent care’ means. Factors identified as influencing the effectiveness of urgent care delivery for older people included workforce/skill mix, competence in working with older people and awareness of their particular needs, integration, appropriateness of admission, pre-admission support, effective and safe discharge, the role of social care and capacity. The report also noted that the value of the role of community-based services, including social care, the voluntary sector, ambulatory services and of nursing and residential care homes is sometimes overlooked.

Subject terms:
older people, emergency health services, literature reviews, multidisciplinary teams, long term conditions, complex needs, good practice, hospital admission, interagency cooperation, prevention, social care;
Content type:
research review
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