[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 9, April 2012].
Most patients in hospital are older, and the length of time spent in hospital is related to age. Such patients tend to be moved around inside hospitals and are more likely to be re-admitted after discharge. There are multiple reasons why continuity of care is difficult to achieve.
This King’s Fund “Continuity of Care for Older Hospital Patients: A call for action” paper examines the experiences of patients aged 70 years and older with multiple health problems. It explores how continuity of care (or its absence) impacts upon them and their relatives or carers. This document reviews the published evidence. It includes case studies, with examples of interventions to improve relationships between patients, carers and professionals.
Recommendations are made regarding good practice. There are practical models and methods for improving continuity, such as enrolling carers as partners in care, appointing a named key worker, ensuring patients and carers know the consultant in charge of the patient’s care (and how to make contact), and the use of documents, such as “This is Me”, to help ensure personalisation.
All aspects of service and clinical integration are addressed.
Cornwell, J. Levenson, R. [and] Sonola, L. [et al] (2012). Continuity of care for older hospital patients: a call for action. London: The King’s Fund, March 2012. 32p.
Possibly also of broader interest.