Huppert argues for NHS to provide improved health service for the elderly

MP Julian Huppert has called for combined acute, community and mental health services for the elderly to be provided by the NHS.

He has made it clear to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group that he strongly favours the bid made jointly by Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital Trust and the Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust to run the new joined-up services.

“Bringing these services together has the potential to benefit older people greatly,” said Julian, “but I firmly believe that these services should be provided by the NHS and not privatised. I opposed Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill, and want to see services improved within the NHS.

“The current division of care is confusing for older people and can lead to care being duplicated or missed out, or communication being broken down. This change should result in a much more cohesive care service.

“I also want to see dementia awareness training provided for people across the organisation who are involved in these services. People with dementia who are admitted to acute wards often find their needs, outside their acute illness, are not well catered for.

“It is also important to train paramedics and other staff to enable people to give assessments and where appropriate treatment in their own homes so that they are not admitted to hospital unnecessarily.”

Julian made his comments as part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commission Group’s consultation on the improvement plans.

He welcomed an emphasis on prevention and the opportunity for older people to undergo regular health checks.

And he supported the development of a record system which patients can access giving details of their medication and the doctor responsible for reviewing that medication. He said this would provide useful information not only for patients but also for carers and health professionals involved.

“The service should aim to enhance and provide dignity of care for older people and they and their carers should be involved in discussions about the care they receive,” he added.

“Where living wills and non-medical directives have been put in place by the patient, these should be respected. End of life care should enable people to die with dignity and free of pain wherever possible.”

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