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This page is dedicated to blogs written by our Chair and Clinical Lead, Dr Jonathan Wells.

You can also view other blogs written by Dr Wells by visiting http://rbccgchair.blogspot.co.uk/


NB. Please note that these are the personal views of Dr Jonathan Wells and not necessarily the official views of NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG.



Looking after our ageing population

User AvatarPosted by George Stringer at 23/09/2013 16:41:57

This month we have published our commissioning intentions for 2014/15 in the form of a prospectus. This is an outline of the local acute hospital services that we wish to see provided within Redditch and Bromsgrove. You can see the document here and I would ask you to read through it carefully and let us know what you think - the prospectus explains how you can give us feedback.

At our last public Governing Body meeting we had a long interactive discussion about the Hospital Services Review. I spent some time trying to get the point across that although acute hospitals are very important, community services are also vital and require increased investment. Over 90% of healthcare happens outside hospitals, and many acute conditions are better treated in the community rather than in hospital.

Public Health colleagues gave a presentation to our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Forum this month about future trends for Redditch and Bromsgrove. The population of older people aged 65 and over male and female is set to rise dramatically over the next 15 years; and the 90+ age group is forecast to more than treble. The "ageing population" is often described as being a big problem for the NHS but it is also something that we should celebrate. People living longer as a result of improved living standards, better medical care and better prevention of illnesses. Crucially, people are enjoying more years where they are well with a good quality of life, and this great news. However, it is inevitable that in the coming years there will be an increasing number of frail elderly people with multiple long-term medical conditions, and at times they will become acutely unwell.

It has been estimated that vulnerable patients in their 80s/90s with Long Term Conditions currently make up 5% of GP lists, 50% of GP workload, and 66% of hospital beds. Admission to an acute hospital can cause further deterioration in their condition due to many factors including susceptibility to hospital-acquired infections, and acute confusion exacerbated by being in a strange environment. For these reasons it is really important that we learn how to treat this group of patients in a better way, which usually means looking after them in the community either in their own homes or in a community hospital or care home.

As a CCG we have been working hard over the last couple of years on our urgent care strategy, you can find out more about this on our website here. Our virtual ward pilot last winter was very successful, and has been expanded for this year. We are also working to introduce an "Integrated Community Hub" based at the Princess of Wales Community Hospital in Bromsgrove, where we will be pulling together a number of community services (more information about this coming soon).

So, whilst we are determined to get the best possible outcome for the Alexandra Hospital, we are also very focused on enhancing our community services, as these are vital for looking after our ageing population in the right way.