Right care, first time: services supporting safe hospital discharge and preventing hospital admission and readmission
Older people represent the main in-patient group, at any one time occupying more than two-thirds of acute hospital in-patient beds. Providers and commissioners need to put in place cost-effective, community based services, which can both prevent the need for hospital admission and safely reduce length of stay for older people. A hospital admission can occur when an older person has reached breaking point because of a combination of problems that have been building up before admission: social circumstances (such as living alone or having caring responsibilities) or general frailty. The aim of this publication is to disseminate examples of positive practice in avoiding hospital admission, supporting safe discharge and preventing readmission for older people. This publication highlights 5 examples of local Age UK services, charting the ‘pathway’ of prevention from identifying older people in the local community who may be at risk, to supporting people who are in A&E, and ensuring that discharge from in-patient care is safe and well co-ordinated.