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Launch of Frail Elderly Programme

Social Care and Health is operating in an environment with a rapidly growing ageing population - in keeping with most of the developed world, the people of Scotland are living longer and often with multiple long-term conditions.

West Lothian has a growing population and by 2033 the population of West Lothian is expected to increase by 23% to 208,364 compared to a national increase of 7%; this means that the growth in the population of older people will be greater than most of Scotland. This population growth is taking place against a background of public expenditure constraint.

Frailty is a distinctive health state related to the ageing process in which multiple body systems gradually lose their in-built reserves. Older people with frailty are at risk of unpredictable deterioration in their health resulting from minor stressor events.

The West Lothian Frail Elderly Programme was launched on 21 April 2015 to identify where there is potential to implement improvements in efficiencies and effectiveness across the whole-system model of care for the Frail Elderly in West Lothian. The aim of the programme is to improve outcomes, individual experience, deliver value for money and establish a long-term and sustainable service.

The purpose of the Frail Elderly Programme Launch Day was to bring together the wider group of stakeholders who are involved with working in this area, and give them a briefing on the plans to study and develop the care pathways for this key group of people within West Lothian.

The West Lothian Frail Elderly Programme has identified four key project areas. After an Introduction by Marion Christie (Head of Health Services, West Lothian CHCP) four speakers very kindly took on presenting duties to outline activity in the core project areas for the audience:

  • Frailty Pathway in Hospital - Latana Munang (Consultant Physician and Geriatrician, St John's Hospital)
  • Frailty Capacity Modelling in West Lothian - Neil Pettinger  (Analyst, Kurtosis)
  • Dementia and Functional Mental Health Redesign for the Elderly - Graham Paxton (Mental Health Services Manager, West Lothian CHCP)
  • Supporting Health and Care in the Community - Alan Bell (Senior Manager Community Care Support & Services, West Lothian Council)

The afternoon provided an opportunity for attendees to go into breakout groups to discuss the programme and provide feedback on any areas that they felt required further consideration or development, including providing recommendations on widening the group of stakeholders.

The feedback from the day will be analysed by the Programme and Project Boards to consider the best approach for incorporating all constructive feedback into the ongoing process, and also to develop an effective communication plan for the Programme moving forward.