The NHS Long Term Plan has laid down the expectation that a 2-hour response service must be put in place; often when people are in crisis, they are not able to travel or access the right service for them immediately. A consistent 24/7 urgent care response is required.
The current system of health and social care is continuously challenged and struggles to meet the urgent care needs of older people. All too often the default position is for frail older people is to be taken to the Emergency Department (ED), with a high probability of being admitted to hospital.
The number of residents supported in residential or nursing homes has been in decline, this despite the growing population of people aged 65+, especially those over 85 years. This means that a growing population of the most vulnerable older people will be living independently.
The coordination of services to care for older people safely in the community can often be overlooked if this is clinically appropriate. A consistent 24/7 urgent care response is important.