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Evercare: New Health Programme Trial to Improve Older Patient Care
Evercare is a healthcare improvement programme developed in the US to improve the quality of care for vulnerable older people. It involves the use of specially-trained nurses to identify and monitor at-risk older people and so that treatment can be given before a visit to hospital is necessary. In the US, Evercare has reduced hospital admissions by fifty per cent, with more care being provided in the community instead.
Early findings show that:
- The development of a new advanced primary nurse role can lead to better co-ordination of pro-active care of older patients and better collaboration with GPs and geriatric consultants
- Better monitoring and education of older patient populations means high-risk patients can be identified and treated before hospital admission becomes necessary
- The work is already addressing the needs of vulnerable older people in the community, using primary care - local doctors and nurses - as the main way of delivering care
Health Minister John Hutton said: "The NHS is working hard to deliver better healthcare for older patients. Many people over the age of 65 are more vulnerable to hospital admission and we must look at new ways of reducing this risk. The Evercare programme has shown in the US that the introduction of pro-active, integrated care for older people can improve health and reduce hospital admission by up to 50%. This interim report shows how PCTs are looking to transfer and adapt the model to achieve similar improvements in NHS services.
"The progress of the advanced primary nurse role is showing us the benefits of expanding the roles of nurses. Giving nurses increased responsibility has shown that they can deliver a proactive approach to treating older patients, identifying care needs before hospital treatment is required. I look forward to seeing further progress from the Evercare programme and final results confirming progress in achieving better care for elderly people.”
The Evercare pilot programme began in April 2003 and will run until August 2004. The report gives a mid-term review of the programme's progress. It will be assessed after its completion and results will available early next year.