Caring for our Elderly

How we care for each other particularly older people in our communities has never been more important. In 2020 as Covid-19 struck our Care Homes in Scotland we saw how piecemeal the provision was across the nation. A patchwork of provision, staff undervalued, underpaid and lacking the essential PPE that was required at the start of this dreadful pandemic.

Residents in our Care Homes continue to be affected by Covid-19, the virus still getting in there and some sadly will not recover from it.

In the wake of the dreadful death toll in our Care Homes and what that revealed about the provision of care the Scottish Government announced another overhaul of the service. Strong Support for National Care Service

It is long overdue that we improve how we provide health and care for older members of our society.

The Scottish Care of Older People (SCoOP) national audit project, led by researchers at the University of Aberdeen, was carried out in 2019 to assess whether and to what extent the provision of geriatric care, known as Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) varied across the country.   Postcode Lottery in Healthcare? Findings from the Scottish National Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment in Secondary Care Audit 2019

Catriona Young from the University of Aberdeen who co-led the study explained:

“The 2019 SCoOP CGA audit highlights variations in the ways acute comprehensive specialist care is accessed, structured and staffed at the front door across the country and areas of CGA services that could be improved. “

The results showed variations between the Health Boards across all key aspects studied: individual aspects of staffing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychiatry, pharmacy and social work as well as multidisciplinary team input.  

This is the first time this kind of care provision for hospitalised older frail patients has been investigated in this way. 

Dr Christine McAlpine, Co-Chair of the SCoOP Steering group said:  

“CGA is effective in producing better outcomes in older people and in the context of an increasing ageing population with multimorbidity and frailty, it is important that hospitals evaluate their CGA provision to ensure the highest standard of care for older people admitted to hospitals and optimal outcome”.  

The research provides essential information for all those providing health and care for older people.

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