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‘Fundamental shift’ in care delivery needed


11 March 2014

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A fundamental shift is urgently needed in the delivery of health and care to meet the challenges of a rapidly ageing society, healthcare leaders have claimed. 
A report released by healthcare thinktank The King's Fund argues that health and care services have failed to keep up with dramatic demographic changes, which will see one in five people in England over the age of 65 by 2030. 

A fundamental shift is urgently needed in the delivery of health and care to meet the challenges of a rapidly ageing society, healthcare leaders have claimed. 
A report released by healthcare thinktank The King's Fund argues that health and care services have failed to keep up with dramatic demographic changes, which will see one in five people in England over the age of 65 by 2030. 
According to Making our health and care systems fit for an ageing population, transforming services for older people will require a fundamental shift towards care co-ordinated around individual needs rather than single diseases, and that prioritises prevention and support for maintaining independence.
Nine components of care must improve, the authors claim. Some goals include:
 –  Enabling older people to live well with stable long-term conditions, avoiding unnecessary complications and acute crises.
 – Improving collaboration between the NHS and social care to ensure that patients can leave hospital promptly once their treatment is complete, with good support available in the community.
 – Ensuring that in times of crisis, older people have rapid access to urgent care, including effective alternatives to hospital.
David Oliver, visiting fellow at The King’s Fund, said: "The health and care systems have a long way to go to adapt to the twin challenges of an ageing population and tighter funding. Many local service leaders are transforming services for older people, but we urgently need to see their experiences spread more widely.
"But marginal change will not be enough; transformation is needed at scale and at pace."

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