Project's duration: 07-Nov-16 to 06-Nov-18
Much recent attention has focused on the problem of older people being treated in overcrowded emergency departments. Studies have clearly demonstrated an association between hospitalisation in older people and poorer outcomes, including loss of independence, admission to long-term care and mortality. Recent national strategy documents relating to the care of older people and emergency department management have stressed the importance of alternative models of care for frail older patients which prevent complications by avoiding or reducing hospital admissions where possible and support patients in the community enabling them to live independently for longer.
The SAFE project aims to explore current problems with care pathways for older people presenting to SVUH. A best practice pathway for the care of frail older people in acute hospitals will be developed. Substantial input for this will come from a patient and public involvement group who will ensure that patient priorities and perspectives will drive the development of the care pathway ensuring that this model of care will achieve outcomes that are important to patients/families.
A strong partnership has been developing between UCD researchers (School of Medicine and School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems) and knowledge users at St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) along with collaborators in the community, rehabilitation facilities and patient advocacy groups. Public and Patient Involvement is central to this project. Our PPI partners are involved in the co-design of the improved pathways for delivery of care to frail elderly patients in acute hospitals, building on the acute frailty unit model, with PPI as a central tenet enabling the development of a truly patient-centred evidence-based and integrated model of care. Our PPI partners are:
· Mary McCarthy and Thelma Doran-Older Peoples Empowerment Network (OPEN);
· Ms Anne Donnellan- Glór and Age Action
· Freda Smith, Jim Milton a Padraig Ruane, Bibiana Savin, and Barry O'Brien-Support and Advocacy Service For Older People (SAGE)
· Eugene Callan- Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI)
· Shirley Thornton- Family Carers Ireland (FCI)