Lianne Knotts, director of Medical Architecture, looks at the ways in which an integrated model of care can, and indeed has been, used to address the complex health needs of coastal towns.
One key benefit, she argues, will be greater ease in recruiting and retaining staff. She highlights her involvement in the design and delivery of two ‘forward-thinking’ healthcare projects for NHS clients in coastal communities which ‘embrace the integrated care model’.
According to 2017 data, there were approximately 11.8 million people aged 65 and over in the UK that year, and by 2050 that number could reach 19 million. Hospital admissions are also steadily increasing year on year, with a good proportion of these represented by elderly people, who rely on continuing care. In parallel, England’s Chief Medical Officer has signalled that we need a national strategy to tackle health inequalities for seaside towns. Coastal towns often have older populations with more complex health needs, but historical planning has often underprovided for areas where the geographical catchment is ‘one-sided’. Heart disease, stroke, mental health problems, diabetes, and higher rates of smoking, are all more prevalent in seaside populations. At the same time, local NHS services can suffer from recruitment problems, leaving gaps in health services where they are needed most.
Emerging models of integrated care
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