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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Who knows best? Older people’s contribution to understanding and preventing avoidable hospital admissions

The pressures on acute care resources are high, particularly with unplanned hospital admissions of people aged over 65. Questions, such as whether they need to be here, or are there other places more suitable for them to go, are often asked. Until now, studies seeking to address these questions have relied largely on retrospective accounts by health professionals with little attention to the views of older people themselves and have focused more on the problems of emergency admissions rather than looking at possible practical solutions.

A new study by the Health Services Management Centre and Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Birmingham has addressed these issues from a different perspective. Older people were interviewed and asked about their experiences of emergency admissions. The research focused on whether older people felt it was appropriate to be admitted to hospitals and if they thought anything could have prevented their admission.

The findings of this study confirm the belief that older people have an important role to play in helping understand the nature of emergency room admissions and devising appropriate responses to their rising numbers. Ignoring this expertise could undermine our efforts to ensure that older people are getting the appropriate care they need.
Following the study, a document outlining key themes and tips for good practice was produced, as well as a video summarising the key findings and highlighting the implications for practice.

Study link:
Key themes document link:
Video link:

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