Getting It Right First Time’s (GIRFT) national report on geriatric medicine aims to bring in a collaborative approach among all sectors, including primary and secondary care, homes, community services, ambulance services, local authorities and the voluntary sector. The collaborative approach aims to help prevent frailty and avoid hospital admissions where more effective care can be offered elsewhere.
"It is recognised that reducing hospital bed occupancy will require investment in support services outside of hospitals. However, with a single admission of an older person living with severe frailty costing more than £6,000, providing better alternatives outside hospital could result in a big saving to the health system, even allowing for the costs of change."
Pre-COVID data shows that 30% of patients in acute medical units, and between 5%-10% of people attending A&E were older people living with frailty. The demand for frailty services is increasing, pre-COVID there were more than 4,000daily admissions of people with frailty, for reasons like falls, minor infections and reactions to medications. According to the data, over 75's with frailty occupied about 20% of all bed days across England.
Dr Adrian Hopper, author of the report, advocates a population-based approach to frailty and recommends the following:
- Stronger leadership and training
- Better management of outpatient appointments
- Avoiding hospital-acquired deconditioning
- Improving delirium pathways
To read all recommendations from the GIRFT report, please visit www.gettingitrightfirsttime.co.uk