The proposals set out improvements in primary care and urgent and emergency care. They look at establishing ways for NHS and social care services to work together more effectively for the benefit of patients, both in and out of hospital.
Comments are being sought from NHS, social care and public health staff, carers and patients. People can discuss and comment on the proposals through the better health and care site https://betterhealthandcare.readandcomment.com.
The proposals include:
- every vulnerable older person having a named clinician responsible for their care outside of hospital, ensuring accountability is clear and care packages are personalised and tailored around individual needs
- better early diagnosis and support to stay healthy by improving the role GPs play in supporting people to stay healthy and taking an active role in managing the health of their local populations
- improving access to primary care through new types of services such as rapid walk-in access services, helping patients connect with their GP in different ways through new technology, making booking appointments easier and building on existing services and opening hours
- providing consistent and safe out-of-hours services
- enhancing choice and control by rolling out the friends and family test to general practice by December 2014, giving more choice about location and type of service such as seeing a preferred GP or nurse and the option of doing this face-to-face or by email and telephone
- better sharing of information and joining up services so care can be provided in a coordinated way
Over the summer, the Department of Health will seek views on the proposals, test them and the best ways to implement them. It will work with NHS England to set out a plan for improving out-of-hospital care for vulnerable older people.
The final plan will be published in October and will be reflected in the refreshed Mandate to NHS England for 2014 to 15.
Watch the videos below in which Jeremy Hunt Norman Lamb discuss improving care for vulnerable older people