Improving services for older people in Dundee

Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership


Improving services for older people in Dundee

Members of the Integration Joint Board of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership approved key service developments in older people services which will benefit patients in Dundee at their meeting yesterday which was held in Dundee City Council Chambers.

The Integration Joint Board (IJB) is made up of local elected members, non executive members of NHS Tayside Board, Third Sector representatives and officials from NHS Tayside and Dundee City Council.

A report presented at yesterday’s meeting described the current and proposed remodelling to provide a range of service improvements which will enhance the quality of care provided to older people enabling them to receive both health and social care closer to home.

Board members were updated on the work being carried out to improve the way in which more general rehabilitation and assessment are provided to older people in Dundee.

Wards 3 and 6 at Royal Victoria Hospital are transitional care wards which accommodate both people who are not medically stable enough to be discharged, and those who are fit for discharge and for whom arrangements are being made in order that they can return to living at home or in the community. Over the next few months, these beds will be accommodated across both the inpatient and community settings.

It is recognised that hospital is not the best environment for people to remain in when they are medically fit for discharge and where assessment of the person's need for ongoing support is required; these assessments are best carried out in the patient’s home environment rather than in a hospital setting.

Members of the IJB heard about the community model of care that is being developed through shifting resources from in-patient to community-based services. In Dundee significant progress has been achieved in relation to community multidisciplinary working through a range of improvements in the way services are delivered. There are now four GP cluster arrangements in the city which are aligned to Medicine for the Elderly Consultant teams and each cluster is supported by community-based multidisciplinary Enhanced Community Support teams, Social Work teams, Community Nursing teams and the Community Rehabilitation team.

In addition, members heard of the work that is also underway to redesign the way in which stroke rehabilitation services are provided to people in Dundee by creating a dedicated stroke rehabilitation unit at Royal Victoria Hospital.

It is hoped that these continuing developments and improvements to community-based services by Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership will enable people to have services provided closer to where they stay which will support them to live in their own home for as long as possible. Where they do require hospital treatment they will be able to return to a homelike setting as soon as possible.

Dr Douglas Lowdon, Clinical Lead for Medicine for the Elderly, said, “We want to ensure that people are cared for in the most appropriate environments and that is why Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership is committed to transforming services for older people in the city in line with local and national clinical evidence.

“Community models are already in place, and more are being developed through shifting our resources from in-patient to community services. This includes an increase in community capacity with the development of step down rehabilitation in care homes and dedicated housing with care.  These developments will provide more community-based services meaning that it is now proposed that patients from the transitional care wards will access services within the rehabilitation and assessment wards at RVH.

“Stroke is the third commonest cause of death and the most frequent cause of severe adult disability in Scotland. The evidence is that stroke patients have better outcomes if they are in a dedicated stroke unit than a general ward. This why we are proposing the establishment of a dedicated stroke rehabilitation unit at Royal Victoria Hospital which is in addition to the new models of care for older people in Dundee.

“The needs of the people we are caring for are increasingly complex and this dedicated unit would also allow us to have better use of our specialist skilled staff so that we can provide a more effective assessment and rehabilitation service.

“At the same time, we will be able to further develop our community-based services in Dundee offering enhanced service options. This will allow us to provide patent-centred care tailored to individual circumstances enabling people, where appropriate, to remain in their own home or be looked after in other community settings, not necessarily a hospital.”


Anna Michie

NHS Tayside Communications

(01382) 424138