How training can help break down barriers in vital care for the elderly
The importance of a cohesive, strategic approach to the care of the elderly – with a major focus on training – has been highlighted by Progress to Excellence Ltd following the publication of a major report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
As the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, the report Beyond barriers: how older people move between health and care in England, makes an urgent call for changes in order to address the complex needs of the increasing numbers of older people. It also points to the necessity for new approaches to funding, commissioning and regulation to meet people’s health and care needs.
After studying the report, which examines how older people move between health and adult social care services in England, Damian Burdin, Chief Executive at Progress to Excellence Ltd, said that he believes a commitment to quality training is key to bringing about these vital changes to the health and social care sector.
He said: “The report shows that many elderly people, most of whom have complex needs, experience fragmented or poor care when they travel through the adult health and social care sector. There are however, also many examples of organisations working well to provide excellent care for people as they age and become infirm.
“However, nevertheless, the most effective means of making any change is to create a high quality training environment where staff are supported and developed to equip them to fulfil their demanding roles, whether that be in care home settings or in domiciliary care.”
This report describes how the lack of a shared plan or vision among organisations resulted in people not receiving the right care in the right place at the right time – with consequences including care being provided at greater expense than necessary, increased pressure on services and people’s quality of life being significantly diminished.
The report sets out a number of recommendations designed to encourage improvement in the way agencies and professionals work to support older people to stay well.
These include the development of joint plans for older people to be supported in their own homes, helped in an emergency and then enabled to return home and supported by long-term funding reform.
The report also suggested more flexible and collaborative approaches to staff skills and career paths, with national health and social care leaders making it easier for people to move between health and care settings, enabling services to remain responsive to local population needs.
Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of CQC, said: “Our findings show the urgent necessity for real change. A system designed in 1948 can no longer effectively meet the complex needs of increasing numbers of older people in 2018. People’s conditions have evolved – and that means the way the system works has got to change too.
“They highlight both the barriers that prevent collaboration and the real impact that this lack of collaboration has on older people. We are calling for those barriers to be broken down and we are making specific recommendations to local and national leaders and government on new approaches to funding, commissioning, performance measurement and regulation, designed to encourage local systems to work together more effectively to deliver personalised care to the people who rely on their services and to safeguard quality of care in the future.”
Coupled with his emphasis on the importance of high quality training in the health and social care sector, Damian also highlighted the trend that more people are currently choosing the health and social care sector as a career option to do vital work.
He said: “There are currently around 90,000 job vacancies in the UK health and social care sector – and that figure is set to rise.
“These are jobs which can be demanding but also incredibly rewarding, as workers strive to help others and to make a difference to their local communities. That is why we’re so passionate about training this sector, because the work that goes on means so much to so many.”
“We offer a wide selection of health and social care apprenticeships, which can be studied by anyone aged 16 or over who meet the eligibility criteria. They are designed to meet the needs to those just starting out in this sector, all the way up to those in management roles and are a very flexible way to study. All of this makes them a great way to gain the skills and knowledge needed to really forge a successful and meaningful career in health and social care.”
Progress to Excellence Ltd offers a full suite of health and social care qualifications to aid career progression for care sector employees. More information is here or call 0151 650 6933.