The Newquay Pathfinder, piloted by the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group with the support of Age UK, provides joined up care across the NHS and social services, enabling older people to live a more independent life and helping them to stay out of hospital.
It brings together voluntary, health and care services to offer a combination of medical and non-medical support.
An Age UK staff member or highly trained volunteer acts as the key link, listening to the older person’s needs so that, together, they can draw up a care plan which suits their life and will help them maintain their health and wellbeing.
NHS Kernow’s Managing Director Joy Youart said: ‘It is about listening to the person’s story and making everything fit around helping the person live the life they want to live.
‘We are now able to wrap services around a person to ensure we are no longer just reactively responding to their needs but are instead helping them to manage their condition in their own homes.’
The pathway is in its infancy in that only 100 people in Cornwall have been helped so far. But the results are extremely promising.
The quality of life, confidence and wellbeing of those on the pilot project is up 27%, and there has been a 35% reduction in emergency hospital admissions. Furthermore, there has been a £4.40 return for each £1 invested.
Tom Wright, Chief Executive of Age UK said ‘The Pathway not only shows how successful integrated care can be but also demonstrates the huge contribution voluntary organisations can make to improving and maintaining the health of older people and to relieving the pressures on hospitals.