Ageing well is identified as a key priority in the NHS Long Term Plan, but what work are ICSs doing in this area?
Here, we take a look at some of the ICS strategies, focuses, and projects on ageing well which have been taking place across the country over the last six months.
Strategy in Telford and Wrekin
In Telford and Wrekin, care for healthy ageing is directed under the “Celebrating later life in Telford and Wrekin” position statement, which outlines how the region plans to tackle challenges relating to the ageing population.
The statement outlines work being done and work to be done in the region in key areas like transport, with the Local Transport Plan helping to develop the transport network and enhance transport in rural areas, helping improve access to services amongst older populations.
Digital access is also discussed in the statement, which highlights then need to promote digital inclusion amongst ageing populations, focusing on skills, connectivity and accessibility of services.
Under ‘next steps’, Telford and Wrekin will work with the Partnership Board, local residents and local professionals, to develop a draft strategy for ageing well, to safeguard the health of older residents of the region.
Falls prevention in Greater Manchester and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire
Funding from the Department of Health and Social Care will help to expand the roll-out of the University of Manchester’s Keep On Keep Up falls prevention app. The app focuses on improving strength and balance amongst ageing populations, helping them to access specially-designed exercises to promote control and fitness.
The exercises have been proven to improve function and reduce falls, providing a cost-effective way of delivering interventions which would usually be delivered face-to-face within community centres. Reducing falls is hoped to make hospital admission and serious injury less likely, lowering the personal cost for individuals on independence and wellbeing, whilst simultaneously lessening demand on health services.
Work to reduce falls is also underway in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, where a week-long awareness event provided an opportunity for both patients and staff to learn about falls and prevention. A dedicated “falls car” has also been introduced to help ensure falls are responded to quickly, and a pilot project in a local care home is trialling specially adapted chairs which help residents get up safely after falling.
Partnership working in Staffordshire
The Staffordshire Healthy Ageing Partnership Group has been working to host events to develop a plan for healthy ageing across the region, with input from “a range of individuals and organisations across the community, public & private sector”.
Following events which saw the attendance of over 160 people, who took part in discussions on creating an environment for healthy ageing, the partnership group is now reviewing feedback to create a healthy ageing plan.
Last month, we looked at how ICSs are tackling health inequalities, in line with the NHS’s Long Term Plan and wider goals to achieve this decade.