What are we trying to do?
We are looking to create and use a rich set of administrative data on stays in care home settings and associated hospital activity for older care home residents in the Salford Local Authority. We are working specifically with The Salford Care Homes Practice (SCHP), formed in 2009, which is a virtual GP practice set up to specifically look after the primary care needs of approximately 80% of the care home residents across the city.
Why is this important?
Nationally, care home residents account for 185,000 emergency admissions to hospital annually and 1.46 million emergency bed days; 35-40% of these emergency admissions are potentially avoidable. Care home costs for people aged 65+ are approximately £4.5 billion a year, with a quarter of the total Local Authority gross expenditures being on social care.
Despite the growing number of older care home residents and the cost this has on the health and social care system, relatively little is known about them and their use of health services. This is legally because of the lack of linked patient level data on health and social care utilisation.
Working with the Salford Care Homes Practice provides ourselves with a unique opportunity to be able to develop an integrated and linked longitudinal health and social care dataset.
How are we doing it?
We will be looking to answer the following questions:
- Can individuals who are close to the end-of-life (and would benefit from end-of -life care) be identified using information collected at the point of registration?
- What aspects of care planning can improve patient outcomes?
- Why do individuals have different mixes of services and whether specific target policies reduce the use of health care or escalation of social care costs, and with what outcomes for users?
- What are the drivers of demand for hospital services among the SCHP population of care home residents?
- Are implemented policies in SCHP effective in reducing emergency admissions, total bed days and other outcomes?
For more further information about this work, please contact Alison Littlewood (Programme Manager)