Reducing emergency admissions from care homes has the potential to reduce pressure on hospitals. This is a significant national policy focus, as demonstrated by a strong commitment to improve support in care homes in the NHS Long Term Plan.
- Analysis of a national linked dataset identifying permanent care home residents aged 65 and older and their hospital found that on average during 2016/17 care home residents went to A&E 0.98 times and were admitted as an emergency 0.70 times.
- Emergency admissions were found to be particularly high in residential care homes compared with nursing care homes.
- A large number of these emergency admissions may be avoidable: 41% were for conditions that are potentially manageable, treatable or preventable outside of a hospital setting, or that could have been caused by poor care or neglect.
- Four evaluations of initiatives to improve health and care in care homes carried out by the Improvement Analytics Unit (IAU) in Rushcliffe, Sutton, Wakefield and Nottingham City show reductions in some measures of emergency hospital use for residents who received enhanced support.
- There are key learnings from these IAU evaluations, including a greater potential to reduce the need for emergency admissions and A&E attendance in residential care homes and the benefit of coproduction between health care professionals and care homes.