A scheme to improve care for frail elderly people is being set up at the district’s hospitals.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust has launched its Older People’s Assessment Service to speed up care for elderly patients and reduce the length of hospital stays.
Bosses at the trust, which runs Pontefract, Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals, said it was set up after a pilot scheme last winter led to quicker assessment and discharge of elderly patients.
Clinical director Dr Dinesh Nagi said: “The number of people aged 85 and over is set to increase by two thirds in the coming years and there is a pressing need to change how we care for those with acute and urgent care needs.
“Older people regularly have a range of complex care problems that need to be quickly addressed to minimise their time in hospital and support their safe discharge.”
Dr Nagi said the new approach to elderly care was proven to lead to reduced length of hospital stays and re-admission rates and improved quality of life.
He added: “This forms the basis of the Older People’s Assessment Service.”
The new service has also been chosen to be part of the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) Future Hospital Programme, a national blueprint for improved elderly care.
The RCP’s Dr Mark Temple said: “Older people have specific health care needs that are often overlooked in busy admission wards.
“By setting up this service specifically for frail older people, Dr Nagi and his team will be able to transform not just the care they receive, but also improve their experience of attending hospital and enable more people to return home the same day.
“We’re really looking forward to working with Mid Yorkshire on this project and are delighted that they are contributing to improved care for older people nationally.”