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Key reaction to the Future Hospital Programme

The Royal College of Physicians has partnered with four NHS trusts to improve the care of older people. Here’s all the key reaction to its Future Hospital Programme:

Dr Mark Temple, Future Hospital officer and consultant physician

“The Future Hospital report received wide support from patients, NHS staff and healthcare leaders when it was published in September 2013. The Royal College of Physicians is committed to taking the key recommendations in the report from the page to clinical practice.

“The selection of the first four Future Hospital development sites is an exciting stage in the realisation of the Future Hospital vision. The evaluation of new ways of delivering healthcare at these sites is important for patients, carers and healthcare staff, as the results will be shared widely to help enhance patient care in the NHS.”

Matthew Winn, chair of the NHS Confederation’s Community Health Services Forum

“The absolute essence of the NHS is that we want people to stay healthy, and live in as good health as possible, for as long as possible. All over the country, community-based health services are already supporting people to stay healthy in their own homes, preventing ill-health and preserving independence.

“Patients and their families tell us they want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, and get care in their community when they need it, so it is absolutely right that the RCP’s Future Hospitals programme will focus on improving how frail older people are supported. Getting the right care at the right time, in the right place, for frail older people requires focus and investment in community-based care, not further reliance on hospital buildings. Focusing on frail older people once they have already been admitted to hospital is too late.

“My hope is that this phase of the Future Hospitals programme will help demonstrate the value that community health services can contribute to the health service of the future. What is equally important, however, is that we ensure the full range of services that support frail older people are joined up, including local government services and other parts of the NHS. Successfully bringing healthcare outside hospital walls must involve all elements of the health, care and other support services.”

Dr Adam Gordon, honorary secretary of the British Geriatrics Society

“The focus of the report of the Future Hospital Commission on delivering high quality care to patients with multi morbidity and frailty was very welcome. It’s great to see that these first four development sites have a strong focus on optimising care for older people, with geriatricians and their specialist multidisciplinary teams playing a key role.

“A challenge for implementation of the Future Hospital recommendations going forward will be ensuring that other hospital specialists interface with and support these types of services. All physicians need to recognise the importance of supporting the acute medical take if we are to make the strides forward in quality which the report envisaged.”

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