[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 6, January 2012].
At least one in four patients might be better off if they were treated by NHS and / or social care staff at home, according to the NHS Confederation. The NHS, meanwhile, needs to make £20bn in efficiency savings by 2015.
Hospitals are not always the best places for elderly people, particularly those with dementia, as the recent dignity and care inspections by the Care Quality Commission and the Patients’ Association have shown.
Mr Farrar, the head of the NHS Confederation, says:
“Hospitals play a vital role but we do rely on them for some services which could be provided elsewhere. We should be concentrating on reducing hospital stays where this is right for patients, shifting resources into community services, raising standards of general practice, and promoting early intervention and self-care”.
The old hospital-based system needs to evolve into a more preventative, community-based system, according to Steve Field of the NHS Future Forum.
NHS Confederation: Hospital-based care must change. London: BBC News, December 29th 2011.