Improving community care and properly integrating it with the NHS can reduce the number of overnight stays in hospital experienced by older adults, according to a new study.
Researchers at the King's Fund claim that 2.3 million emergency stays can be prevented by putting in place good procedures to identify health complications before they become serious.
The report identified Torbay and Great Yarmouth as two areas that already have in place such a system, which helps to keep over night hospital stays by older adults at a low level.
Part of the improvements required is the placement of senior doctors in Accident and Emergency departments to quickly identify the appropriate services that patients can be sent to. This will stop people spending extended amounts of time in emergency beds.
These changes will save £462 from the NHS budget, the study claims, and free up 7,000 hospital beds.
It will also help to ensure UK health services are more responsive, which is important following claims in the latest government white paper on social care that the system only reacts to a crisis after it has happened.
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