Upskilling care home staff and better working relationships with the NHS has resulted in a major reduction in residents being admitted to hospital.
Research by the Health Foundation found that avoidable emergency admissions to hospital were cut by 27% across three local sites where the NHS worked in partnership with care homes to step up the support they received.
It also showed falls in emergency admissions of up to 23% or reductions in A&E visits of up to 29% from care home residents.
Upskilling care home staff to deliver more routine care, ensuring that residents have access to the same GP and encouraging better working relationships between NHS and care home staff are all things that are thought to have contributed to care home residents needing less emergency hospital care.
Analysis from the Improvement Analytics Unit, a joint initiative between NHS England and the Health Foundation, also found that four in ten (41%) emergency admissions to hospital involving care home residents could also be potentially avoided with better provision of preventative primary care, community support or NHS care in care homes.
It also reveals that nearly one 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.
Adam Steventon, director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: “Our evaluations show that by increasing NHS support and improving partnership working with care homes it is possible to reduce emergency admissions to hospital and A&E visits among care home residents and local sites have made good progress on integrating services, despite real pressures in social care.
“It also highlights that better preventative care may help to reduce unnecessary emergency hospital admissions, for example some fractures may be avoided with appropriate risk assessment and falls prevention. However, further progress may be jeopardised without urgent reform and investment for social care. The NHS Long Term Plan rightly identifies that both the wellbeing of older people and pressures on the NHS are linked to how well social care is functioning.”