Article

Service use and prevention of emergency hospital admissions: a comparison of the views of older people and health and social care professionals

Citation

Themessl-Huber M & Hubbard G (2006) Service use and prevention of emergency hospital admissions: a comparison of the views of older people and health and social care professionals. Research Policy and Planning, 24 (3), pp. 165-178. http://www.ssrg.org.uk/publications/rpp/2006/index.asp#3

Abstract
This paper presents a comparison of the perceptions of health and social care professionals and older people on the prevention of emergency hospital admissions and the use of care services. Whereas older people viewed emergency admission as an inevitable part of ageing, professionals attributed many emergency admissions to the social isolation of older people. Professionals reported that the majority of services were not designed to minimise isolation in older age. Older people listed quality of life, boosted by socialising and support during periods of good health, as their first priority. Older people and professionals presented differing arguments why some health and social care services were underutilised. Older people explained that they deliberately avoided using some services because they believed these would undermine their independence and level of activity. Professionals reasoned that low uptake of services was associated with service providers’ lack of knowledge and trust as well as problems with the accessibility of services. This shows that service users and providers differ in their assessment of need and service delivery. Hence, it is argued that both professional and patient perspectives are required to inform service development that meets the needs of older people and health and social care staff.

Keywords
Older people; user involvement; service delivery; service use; interviews; qualitative research; Older people; Old age assistance; Social interaction; Older people Institutional care; Institutional care Great Britain

Journal
Research Policy and Planning: Volume 24, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2006
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/1265
PublisherSocial Services Research Group
Publisher URLhttp://www.ssrg.org.uk/publications/rpp/2006/index.asp#3
ISSN0264-519X