Ground-breaking work which improves the health and well-being of Bradford and Airedale’s ageing communities is to be presented at a national conference.
The results, achieved through a range of initiatives that support older people after being discharged from hospital, have captured the imagination of the leading healthcare think-tank, the King’s Fund.
Now the Shipley-based independent charity Carers’ Resource,has been invited to share its innovative approach at a flagship conference in London on June 18.
“This is a true success story for Bradford and Airedale,” said its head of development, Anna Jackson.
"It is a coup that this work - pioneered in the heart of their communities - is being held up as an example of best practice, and one from which the rest of the country can learn.
“There is no shortage of expertise across the health and social care sectors in the district and we are delighted that we are contributing towards putting the district on the national map of innovation once again.
“By 2030, more than one-in-five people will be aged 65 or more. While living longer is a cause for celebration, it is also presents unprecedented challenges.
“We have developed new ways of thinking and new ways of working to support older people when they leave hospital, all too often to an empty home – playing a key role in preventing their readmission at great expense to the taxpayer.
“Given the pace with which the UK’s ageing population is growing, there are far-reaching benefits for the wider NHS arising from our approach and increasingly close partnership with local hospitals.”
The charity’s work is spearheaded by its Home from Hospital project, which provides a lifeline to vulnerable and elderly patients after discharge. This is particularly important for a community highlighted as being afflicted by health and social deprivation, with a higher-than-average prevalence of many complex medical conditions and life-limiting illnesses.
In its first nine months, the scheme helped 250 inpatients ease back into everyday life – with only four of them having to be readmitted for the same condition within 30 days.
It is estimated that this success story has netted the NHS – and taxpayers – as much as £136,000 in savings, as well as improving the quality of life of those patients supported, increasing their self-confidence and reducing the problems of social isolation.