The latest ‘buzz phrase’ in the health sector is ‘positive caring’- assessing people who need care and taking preventive measures to avoid their need escalating, even to the extent of admission to, and subsequent discharge from, hospital.
I am delighted to hear it; it’s a message we have been propounding for a while, whereby a wider range of health professions are involved, enabling steps to be taken before it becomes a critical need, to ensure a person’s wellbeing and independence, at the time of assessment, and to endeavour to predict future needs.
In one example(*), hospital admissions have reduced by 64%, largely by involving a wider team, including Occupational Therapists, and making adjustments such as, where appropriate, sorting aids and equipment at home to protect the person from deteriorating.
It’s about being proactive rather than reactive. Such an approach can not only reduce the likelihood of hospital admission, but can also reduce the social care need. Even something as simple as aids to help someone go to the loo on their own, and with optimum dignity and hygiene, can make a big impact on mobility and psychological wellbeing.
In both cases, there has been a proven reduction in the need for care.
Rarely a week passes now without there being some story in the media about NHS and social care budgets, the strain both services are under. Both the case studies above prove that the positive caring approach can reduce the need for care, and therefore strain on local care budgets.
For it to work, it needs to be adopted on a national scale.. It requires a change of mindset, but a change that could very quickly reap results.
They do say, after all, it only takes repeating an action for 21 days for it to become a habit!