Praise for ‘responsive and coordinated’ Camden services for older people

Camden services for older people are praised in a new report out this week, Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers, from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the England healthcare regulator.

The report highlights NHS Camden Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) ‘Care Navigation Service’ as an example of best practice in England.

The service supports older patients to access local voluntary and community services that help them to self-manage their health and wellbeing. Run by Age UK Camden, the service also supports vulnerable people to get the right health and social care to meet their needs. In less than a year, the service has seen almost 600 patients, with 83 percent saying they would recommend it to others.

The report also highlights CamdenCCG’s ‘Frail and Elderly Programme’, which helps older people in Camden receive responsive and coordinated care. A frailty register supports GP practices to improve the identification of vulnerable frail people in the community. In a year, the number of people registered increased from 854 to over 1,500, going onto receive the help they need to stay healthier. This resulted in visits to A&E by this group of patients reducing by over 50%.

Dr Lance Saker, GP and Clinical Vice Chair of Camden CCG, said:

“The Care Navigator Service and Frailty Register are two simple and effective ways we are helping older people in Camden benefit from health, social care and voluntary services they may not otherwise have used, supporting them in better managing their health, their home and social circumstances. It is great that these local programmes have been recognised by the CQC.”

Camden has a growing elderly population. By 2031, it is expected there will be around 4,300 residents over 85 years of age, 40% of whom will have two or more long term conditions. Making sure services are in place to help older people stay healthy and access good quality care is a priority for Camden CCG and Camden Council.

Councillor Georgia Gould, Cabinet Member for Young People, Adults and Health said:

“This scheme really demonstrates the benefits for local people of joint working between Camden Council and Camden CCG.”

Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers reviewed how well different health and care services work together to support the needs of older people in England. It warns that progress is needed to better support people who use a number of services, reduce hospital admissions and avoid confusion about where to go for help. The report concludes that with a growing elderly population, now is the time to act.