"Joined up" health and social care for older adults with complex disease
Image courtesy of the Waterford Viking Triangle
Integrated Care makes sense
The HSE’s Integrated Care Programmes emphasise the importance of orientating health and social care services around specific complex patient groups. Older adults are particularly complex consumers of health and social care with responsibility for this care falling within the ambit of many different clinical professionals.
Integrated care should prioritise the delivery of care to older adults within environments optimised to their current needs. For most older adults, this will involve delivery of care within the community but, for those who do require hospital care, this should be delivered within pathways specifically optimised to the needs of older adults.
W.I.C.O.P. is an ambitious project that will work towards streamlined health and social care for the most complex cohort of older adults.
It will begin by focussing on four priority patient groups as follows;
1. Falling older adults
2. Frail older adults
3. Older adults with memory impairment
4. Older adults with movement disorders
The HSE's Integrated Care Programme for Older People (ICP OP) have invested substantially in the creation of a multidisciplinary team to support W.I.C.O.P. This team will provide "joined-up" health and social care for the four priority patient groups in the first instance. The W.I.C.O.P. project will however continue to develop an integrated network of care for older adults following the structure outlined in the graphic below.