As life expectancy increases, so too does the number of older people living with highly complex healthcare needs. Much research has demonstrated the scale of the issue and the need to find better ways to care for our older citizens and minimise risk. This need has been heightened by the vulnerability of these individuals throughout the covid-19 pandemic, and over the last year pathways have had to be urgently re-evaluated to address this issue.
The right to safe and effective care also does not end when someone’s illness becomes terminal, or when their life is drawing to a close. Alongside the unfortunate need to deliver increasing levels of end-of-life care under very challenging circumstances throughout the covid-19 pandemic, other issues such as falls and pressure ulcers may be a risk at end of life. Plus with many patients on multiple medications, there is also the risk of drug errors.
Our judges will be looking for work that increases the quality as well as the safety of patient experience, perhaps by making it easier for multiple healthcare professionals to feed into an individual’s care, or ensuring the patient, and not just their relatives, is involved in decisions around their care. This award will celebrate and recognise those organisations acting to provide consistently safe, high quality care to older people. That will undoubtedly include teams in hospices and those working in any other part of the health and care system.
Entries are welcomed from all parts of the NHS and public sector health and social care system. Judges are looking for projects which can demonstrate patient safety at their core but have experience, care, staff morale, training and awareness as drivers.