The purpose of this report is to start to bring together in one place a summary of the use of resources by local public sector organisations to support older people’s health and wellbeing. The aim is that this should help organisations to plan in partnership on how best to work together to meet older people’s health and wellbeing needs. Inevitably the systems for collecting information vary between organisations – and some have been able to provide more comprehensive information about spend on services used by older people than others. The report is therefore likely to raise as many questions as it answers.
The report identifies that many different organisations are involved in meeting the health and wellbeing needs of the 99,000 older people in Cambridgeshire. The resource use by different organisations varies greatly. For example the NHS in Cambridgeshire spent over £100m in 2010/11 on hospital admissions for people aged 65 and over and an estimated £39m on drugs prescribed through GP practices for this age group. The County Council spent nearly £58m on providing means tested nursing care placements, residential care placements, and domiciliary care in people’s own homes for people aged 65 and over.
But the report also describes preventive inputs which use resources on a much smaller scale – for example the £52,000 spent on a home improvement agency in East Cambridgeshire which received 900 enquiries from older people during 2010/11, and the services provided by some voluntary sector agencies.
Inevitably, there are some significant gaps in our knowledge about how resources are used to support older people. For example, resource use in community health services (district nursing, rehabilitation etc) cannot currently be broken down by age group, and there is significant ‘non-tariff’ spend on hospital services which is also not available by age. Although housing is identified as an important component of overall support for older people, it has not been possible at this stage to provide detailed information on resource use for older people’s extra-care and sheltered housing.
So this report should be regarded as work in progress which can be built on further – but in the meanwhile can start to provide a shared understanding across organisations of how resources are used locally to meet older people’s needs.