[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 3 Issue 1, August 2012].
This King’s Fund report explores variations in the use of hospital beds by patients aged over sixty-five years and who were admitted as an emergency. There are significant variations in the use of hospital beds by such patients. The authors analyse the contribution made by factors such as the nature of the patient catchment area, patient demand, hospital factors, the availability of community support services and resources, and broader system relationships. The analyses are based on Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and local population-based data.
The authors point out that if all PCTs were able to match the rate of admission and average length of stay of those areas with the lowest use, then 5,700 fewer hospital beds would be needed across England. Areas with well-designed and integrated services for older people appear to have lower rates of bed use. It is recommended that any local strategies to reduce bed use by people aged over 65 should adopt a broad “whole system approach” to aligning ways of working between primary, community and acute care sectors. Integrated care appears to offer the best opportunities for reducing avoidable admissions and length of stay (LOS) in hospitals.
Imison, C. Poteliakhoff, E. [and] Thompson, J. (2012). Older people and emergency bed use: exploring variation. London: The King’s Fund, 2012. 24p. ISBN: 9781857176414.
Click here to read a critical appraisal of this report.