Independent living for older people
Produced by: Socitm Insight
This report describes a pioneering partnership approach in West Lothian between practitioners from the health trust and the local authority using assistive technology.
The developing health and care agenda across the UK requires practitioners from health trusts and local authorities across all related disciplines to reassess their approach to working together. We describe how a pioneering partnership approach has developed in West Lothian, Scotland.
Care in the community
New models of care are provided by multi-disciplinary teams as a result of joint working between NHS Lothian and West Lothian Council. Care pathways respond to the assessed needs of individuals and families. We describe the models of care available and the technology and information that underpin their delivery.
The impact on people and lives
People in West Lothian now receive care packages more closely aligned to their assessed needs, with significant impact on their lives and those of family, friends and neighbours. We analyse the effect of these changes on the recipients of services and on the health and care practitioners who provide them.
We review the outcomes from the work so far in West Lothian, and identify ten lessons that are transferable to health and social care organisations across the UK:
- Partnership working and integrated service delivery require vision and commitment from the very top of the organisations involved.
- New models of care do offer a successful response to changing demographic profiles and pressure on professional disciplines.
- New care pathways must be built around the patient or client as the focus of service provision.
- Assistive technologies can be used to promote independent living as part of the new models of care, supported by multi-disciplinary teams.
- Joint facilities can be created that use the different disciplines and regulatory bases of different organisations in flexible ways.
- Shared information, supported by well thought-out protocols for its use, provides a significant resource for planning purposes as well as underpinning more effective service delivery.
- Patient-centred models of care can deliver more effective services and also reduce costs to the public sector.
- Multi-disciplinary teams offer opportunities for skills development and new career paths that would not be available in more traditional operational models.
- Employees are more likely to commit to doing things differently when the changes are incorporated into their normal ways of working.
- Some people who had high levels of dependency in traditional care environments have now regained independence within new community settings.
Last modified: 19th January 2010
Independent living for older people (362.29 KB PDF)