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Older patients quality agenda differs from government

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The government’s ideas on quality do not necessarily match the aspirations of older patients, according to research published today in Nursing Times.

A qualitative study undertaken by Age Concern and Help the Aged suggests older patients have a clear idea of what they want from the health service, but this is not currently addressed adequately by NHS targets and performance indicators.

The charity interviewed 20 older patients, most of whom were over 80. The research report, “Waiting for Change”, found older patients wanted face-to-face appointment with health professionals “they know and trust” when in community settings. 

In hospital settings, they wanted “privacy, good relationships with staff and retaining choice and control over daily routines”. 

Age Concern and Help the Aged head of public policy Andrew Harrop, said: “Older people’s definition of quality does not always match the performance regime laid out by politicians.” 

The Department of Health has this month published a draft set of quality indicators for community services. The Quality Framework for Community Services: Directory of Indicators outlines more than 60 indicators currently being piloted at 23 sites.

Read the full “Waiting for Change” report in this week’s Nursing Times.

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