Kent UniversityA new scheme may prove beneficial to older people. A study from Kent University claims that elderly people may nearly cut overnight stays in hospital and slash accident and emergency attendances by almost a third.

The system called as the Partnership for Older People Projects (POPP), was started in 2005 and set up around 29 native authority-led pilots, operating with their health and voluntary sector partners, across England. The role of the pilots was to provide and assess close by ground-breaking methods to aid in keeping elderly people fit, independent, and avert or postpone high-intensity or institutional care.

The projects created supposedly varied from low-level services like lunch-clubs, to more official precautionary plans such as hospital discharge and rapid-response services. Around 2,64,637 people apparently utilized one or more of these services in the pilot stage. Owing to the achievement of the pilots, POPP was released countrywide by Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham.

Dr Karen Windle, University of Kent’s Personal Social Services Research Unit, commented, “The POPP programme, set up to test preventive approaches, demonstrated that prevention and early intervention can ‘work’ for older people. It was also widely thought by staff to have delivered improved services for older people in terms of their quality of life and well-being. It is possible that even greater value could be secured over the longer term, as new projects learn from their experience, and general expertise and confidence grow.”

Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, mentioned, “With more people over 65 than under 18 and increasing pressure on services, we need a new approach to the care and support system that is fair, simple and affordable. We are radically overhauling the care and support system. Prevention, early intervention and integration of services are all fundamental principles to that reform and our vision to create a National Care Service. But we shouldn’t wait to take action to improve the lives of older people today. That is why we have introduced our Personal Care at Home Bill, which will give free support to those in need. This report also provides valuable evidence that change can happen now. If local NHS and social care services work together to invest in prevention and early intervention, we can cut costs and improve older people’s quality of life.”

In total, around 522 organizations were apparently caught up with schemes across the POPP programme. This comprises of health bodies like PCTs, secondary care trusts and ambulance trusts. Bodies like the fire service, police and housing associations are included.

National, local voluntary organizations as well as private sector organizations are encompassed. Participants, counting several elderly people themselves, also seem to have made a significant contribution, thereby turning out to be quite important over the period of the project.