Today the Independent Commission for Whole Person Care (WPC) called for the health and social care systems to provide 'whole-person care' as opposed to focusing on particular conditions or body parts.
This report comes at a time when there is much political discussion around the structure of the UK's health and social care services, their cost and their ability to meet the growing demands of an ageing population, in particular. Currently, 70 per cent of health and social care budgets is spent on older people with long term conditions and much of considerable resource is not well spent.
While there is agreement regarding the necessity to change towards coordinated care, care today remains fragmented and episodic and does not meet the needs of patients. Labour leader, Ed Miliband, said millions of people with complex health and social care needs would benefit from a single, co-ordinated care team rather than being passed between different services.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'Older people, especially those with dementia, are being let down by an outdated and fragmented health and social care system. With an ageing population these pressures and short-comings are set to increase. Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community and a quarter of hospital beds are occupied by those living with the condition.
'The findings of this report show that there is an alternative: one that focuses on the needs of patients, not structures. Delivering person-centred care holds the potential to end the rigidity of the one size fits all approach.'
Head of Policy & Public Affairs