A new set of standards for the care of older patients in Scottish hospitals has been published, with an emphasis on strengthening the involvement of patients and carers.
The standards will be used to support future hospital inspections of the care of older people carried out by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
“This new set of standards has been developed to support staff to provide the best care for older people in hospital”
Each standard includes a statement of the level of performance that NHS boards are to achieve. They are built on previous standards from 2002, but with a greater focus on initial assessment on admission and more complex aspects of care.
The first three standards emphasise the principle of person-centred care. They state that older people should be given the opportunity to say what is important to them when they are cared for in hospital, treated with dignity and respect, and involved in decisions about their care.
These principles should be applied throughout the patient journey, said Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
Other standards cover the management of frailty, assessment of cognitive function, effective discharge planning and a standard to ensure that older people are cared for in the right place at the right time.
Project group chair Dr Christine McAlpine, geriatric medicine specialty advisor to Scotland’s chief medical officer, said: “This new set of standards has been developed to support staff to provide the best care for older people in hospital, wherever healthcare is delivered.
“Each standard details what patients, their representatives and the public can expect of healthcare services in Scotland,” she said. “We believe that the new standards once implemented will support continuing substantial improvement in the care that older people receive.”
Sara Twaddle, director of evidence for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, added: “The standards complement our ongoing programme of inspections for older people in hospital, and our national improvement programme focused on delirium and the identification and management of frailty.”