NICE has today published guidance on providing effective care to older people with a number of long-term conditions. Issues can arise when caring for individuals with a variety of care needs and the overarching theme is one of more joined-up, person-centred care.
The guidance directs health and social care practitioners to consider obtaining a risk assessment from the local authority or a referral to a specialist to assess the needs of the person requiring care. They should also consider the person’s carers own specific social care needs, referring them to the local authority for a needs assessment in their own right if required. With the continuing desire to stay in one’s own home where possible the guidance also points practitioners to consider telecare arrangements with the person. This can assist in providing further support and protection depending on their specific needs.
NICE highlights that having access to one named care coordinator is extremely effective when dealing with an individual with multiple care needs. It is important that the service user is afforded the opportunity to have a say about their care and support whenever possible.
Much of the advice doesn’t seem particularly specific to the requirements of an elderly individual with a variety of care needs. This guidance is of almost universal application across the complete spectrum of care services provided. The guidance is a testament to what should be expected within an excellent care service, namely individualised and effective care regardless of the level required.
The provision of poor care to an individual with multiple complex care needs can result in faster deterioration and have a greater impact compared to someone with fewer care needs. The guidance will be useful when planning care provision for elderly service users with long-term conditions and help protect against the negative effects of poor care which could arise if care is not planned appropriately.