More than four in ten emergency admissions to hospitals from care homes could be avoided, a report has revealed.
Analysis by NHS England and The Health Foundation found hospital admissions could be slashed through better preventative primary care, community support or NHS care in care homes.
The analysis reveals that nearly 1 in 12 emergency admissions to hospital are for people living in a care home, an estimated 192,000 emergency admissions each year. This makes up 7.9% of the entire number of emergency admissions.
The report adds that, emergency admissions to hospital and A&E visits were particularly high in patients from residential care homes, where the care of residents is provided by non-clinical staff. There were approximately 32% more A&E attendances and 22% more emergency admissions from residential care homes than from nursing homes, where residents receive in-house nursing care.
As part of its Long Term Plan, the NHS is rolling out nationally its Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHCH) initiative to give everyone living in a care home improved GP support and more visits from specialists, including dieticians and clinical pharmacists.
Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: “Emergency admissions to hospital can expose care home residents to stress, loss of independence, risk of infection and rapid muscle deterioration. Around 70% of care home residents have dementia and can find the hospital environment even more stressful and disorienting as a result. Reducing avoidable emergency admissions and A&E attendances is good for residents and will help reduce pressure on the NHS.”