You are here

BGS PRAISES NHS LONG-TERM PLAN BUT SHARES CONCERN FOR HOSPITALS

Following the publication of the NHS long-term plan, released on 7th January, Professor Tahir Masud, President of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), has shown his support for the outlined changes to the NHS but also shared his concerns for hospitals.

Following the publication of the NHS long-term plan, released on 7th January, Professor Tahir Masud, President of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), has shown his support for the outlined changes to the NHS but also shared his concerns for hospitals.

A major foundation of the plan is to utilise technology to provide better access to treatment and support and significantly reduce the pressure on hospitals. GP practices and hospital outpatients currently provide around 400 million face-to-face appointments each year. As outlined in the plan, the next five years will see every patient offered the right to online ‘digital’ GP consultations, and redesigned hospital support will be able to avoid up to a third of outpatient appointments. GP practices will be funded to work together to deal with pressures in primary care and extend the range of convenient local services, creating genuinely integrated teams of GPs, community health and social care staff.

The BGS fully supports the plan’s aim of delivering fully integrated, community-based healthcare.

Although Professor Masud applauded the increased delivery of healthcare in community and primary care settings, he also cautioned that this should not be to the detriment of hospital-based care. He warned that sufficient resources must be allocated to hospitals where older people are best treated when they have a health crisis. The challenges of meeting the needs of our ageing population requires that older people have access to quality healthcare regardless of the setting, and this includes hospitals. However, he did welcome the commitment to ensuring that multidisciplinary teams are providing access to comprehensive geriatric assessments in A&E, and preventing delayed transfers of care.

An additional challenge to the successful implementation of the long-term plan is the continuing need for a fully integrated service model which ends the divide between health and social care. Although the long-term plan has the potential to help end the divides between primary, intermediate and hospital care, the BGS stressed that a strategic approach to ensuring continuity across health and social care services is still urgently needed, together with a financially sustainable approach to social care.

Professor Tahir Masud, President of the British Geriatrics Society, commented: “The British Geriatrics Society has been calling for multidisciplinary teams to be embedded in primary care and for more services to be available closer to where older people live. We warmly welcome those aspects of the plan that will help to make this a reality. However, we believe the full benefits of the plan can only be realised with sufficient investment in the workforce in all settings, and urgent investment to ensure sufficient capacity exists in social care.” 

Full details of the plan can be found here.

www.bgs.org.uk

  • Linked In
  • Pinterest

Read our latest Issue

Tomorrow's Care Awards