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With reference to one of the standards of the National Service Framework (NSF) for older people (DOH, 2001) explore how the NSF has contributed to improving care. The National Service Framework (NSF) for older people was first developed in 2001

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Introduction

With reference to one of the standards of the National Service Framework (NSF) for older people (DOH, 2001) explore how the NSF has contributed to improving care. The National Service Framework (NSF) for older people was first developed in 2001 to provide a higher standard of care. The service looks at the problems faced by the older population when receiving care from the National Health (NHS) and other health care services. The framework is looking at promoting independence support and a high quality service for older people. Some of the aims are as follows, to improve care standards, extend services, and help people over the age of sixty five stay healthy (DOH 2001). Before the national service framework was implemented services were failing this may be due to the increase of an aging population. People are now living longer and the health service was unable to cope with the demands as well as the financial implications. The NSF is looking at better standards of care, extending services for older people, providing more funding for services, and developing good communication between social services and the health service. The NHS is looking to set out a plan that will modernise the services and provide protection for older people and promote independence. The national service framework for older people looks to improve the funding, and allow the standard of care to improve. The NSF is based on a ten year plan which will develop independence, support, and provide a higher quality service from the National Health Service (NHS) ...read more.

Middle

During 2004 the national institute for health and clinical excellence (NICE 2004) developed guidelines on the assessment and prevention of falls in older people. These guidelines were put in place to tackle some of the problems outlined in standard six of the national service framework. Some of the main priorities outlined are as follows, a client should be asked routinely if they have had a fall within the past year, a client who has fallen or is at risk of falling should be observed for balance and gait deficits, clients who have fallen or are having problems with balance and gait should be offered a multifunctional falls risk assessment carried out by a health care professional for example a member of the falls service. Multifunctional risk assessment looks at strength and balance training, home assessment visual assessment etc and a client should be offered a multidisciplinary assessment (NICE 2004). Clients should be treated as an individual and given as much information possible, to help prevent further falls and to promote independence. These guidelines presented by NICE show that since the national service framework for older people has been published, falls has proved to be a major issue amongst older people (Strachan-Bennett 2004). The assessment process as outlined however can cause distress for the patient due to multiple assessments that take place for their health within the community, or within a hospital setting. Part of the patient centred care standard set by the national service framework (2001) looks at implementing a single assessment process. This process will improve services for older people including the falls services (Wilson 2005). ...read more.

Conclusion

Certain areas within the National Health Service have introduced an assessment on falls and are aware of policies and procedures. Health promotion has been recognised as an important stage of preventing falls. The national service framework for older people has had a big impact on reducing the number of falls by providing services, advice, assessments and exercises. People are more aware of the dangerous that can occur when older people fall. However there are still areas that have not got a falls service in place and are not carrying out appropriate assessments. It has shown in the audit report that emergency departments and fracture clinics are lacking in knowledge in regards to falls. One of the standards milestones was to have a falls service in place throughout all health and social care by 2005, its now 2006 and not all health care professionals are aware of a falls service within their area. Osteoporosis is a major issue that needs tackling as this condition accounts for a large number of falls within the United Kingdom. People are not aware of how it can cause falls, and the correct advice that is needed to prevent further falls once been diagnosed. The reports have also shown a lack of communication between the hospital trust and the community care trusts, important information is not been passed over. Whilst working on placement I have not known people be referred to a falls service I have only seen physiotherapy and occupational health input. The standard has improved the services for falls, but there are still improvements that need to be made for the department of health to meet the 10 year plan. ...read more.

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