Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2006): Care of the Elderly – UK

All dressed up but nowhere to go? Delayed hospital discharges and older people

J. Glasby, R. Littlechild and K. Pryce

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol.11, 2006, p.52-58

Reducing bedblocking by older patients is the subject of a number of initiatives in the NHS in England. This paper reports the results of a review of the UK literature on delayed discharges and older people in order to identify their rates and causes, together with policies that may reduce them. The studies reviewed reveal the importance of rehabilitation services for reducing rates of delayed discharges, the prevalence of delayed discharge due to internal hospital factors, and the complex and multi-faceted nature of the factors contributing to delayed discharge.

Buying Time I: a prospective, controlled trial of a joint health/social care residential rehabilitation unit for older people on discharge from hospital

T. Trappes-Lomax and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 14, 2006, p.49-62

The study’s objective was to determine the effectiveness of a joint NHS/Social Services rehabilitation unit for older people discharged from community hospital compared with “usual” community services. The intervention consisted of six weeks in a rehabilitation unit where clients worked with care assistants and occupational therapists to regain independence. Controls went home with the health and social care services they would normally receive. Results suggested that a stay in the rehabilitation unit was no more effective than “usual” care in diverting people from hospital or long-term care. This study calls into question the effectiveness of the UK government’s policy of using rehabilitation units to divert people from unnecessary long-term care.

Joint working between social and health services in the care of older people in the community: a cost study

P. McCrone and others

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.13, Dec.2005, p.34-43

Paper focuses on collaboration between professionals providing support for people aged 75 and over, and examines the economic costs of contacts made by social workers with community nurses, general practitioners and service users or their carers. Two areas were studied, one where social care and primary health care services we co-located, and the other with social work teams located separately from local health services. The two forms of social care location had an impact on contacts and costs but it was small. Contact costs made up only a small amount of the overall costs of care.

Older people: assessment for health and social care

H. Heath and R. Watson (editors)

London: Age Concern, 2005

Assessment is the foundation for health and social care and is integral to all areas of policy and practice with older people. The book offers information on age-related changes, how these manifest, how to assess them and what conclusions could be drawn. The book is divided into five sections:

  1. The current health and social care context
  2. Individuality in later life and the influences upon this
  3. The range of foundations for care and support
  4. Functioning for everyday life and enjoyment
  5. Key contributors to quality of life

Older people are as important as anyone

G. Carson

Community Care, Jan.26th-Feb.1st 2006, p.16

Report of an interview with Baroness Andrews, Under-Secretary of State at the ODPM, in which she describes government plans to integrate services for older people to encourage them to contribute to community life and reduce social exclusion.

The real scandal is how we treat the old

J. Hari

Independent, January 19th 2006, p.12

One fifth of old peoples’ home residents suffer from malnutrition and 26,000 are sedated with unnecessary and unwanted drugs. Comment piece highlights scandalous revelations that are swamped by current hysteria over paedophilia.

Smarter Working in Social and Health Care (SWISH): enhancing the quality of life of older people using an 'expert system'

S. Iliffe

Quality in Ageing, vol.6, Dec. 2005, p.4-11

Current UK policy on older people’s health and well-being emphasises improving care by raising standards and promoting independence. Article describes an “expert system” that is designed to improve older people’s access to health and social care information, to enable social workers to review the health and social care needs of older people, and to allow planners to assess the needs of the whole population.

Social work with older people: context, policy and practice

M. Lymbery

London: Sage, 2005

The book draws together the key themes involved in social work with older people, demonstrating how to translate theory into real-life practice. It explores core issues in social work policy such as inter-professional collaboration and ethics and challenges the restricted nature of social work practice.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web