Avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions: the headlines

This film explores the challenge of reducing hospital admissions for older people through contributions from a range of health and social care experts. Their reflections highlight the complex health needs of older people in this country, the need for responsive and joined-up health and social care services, and the role that home care staff can play in helping to identify deteriorating conditions that may result in a hospital admission. The film acknowledges that at a crisis point, hospital admission may be the only safe alternative but argues that integrated care, well-managed hospital stays, improved health provision in care homes, reablement, and self-management of health conditions can all play a part in reducing hospital admissions.

Messages for practice

  1. Older people often have complex health care needs which require a range of health and social care interventions, including hospital admissions when necessary.
  2. With the right training, support and access to health care input social care staff are well-placed to identify deteriorating conditions and help avoid some hospital admissions.
  3. Better management, including self-management, of long-term conditions, a swift response to acute illness, the provision of reablement, and improved community health provision to care home residents may help reduce the numbers of hospital admissions.
  4. Integrated health and social care services result in improved outcomes for individuals, but may not significantly reduce emergency admissions.
  5. Skilled and knowledgeable health and social care staff who work effectively together are crucial if the system is to cope with current and future pressures.

Who will find this useful?