Data allowing NHS teams to assess performance across the whole hospital emergency pathway of older patients with frailty is now being shared by Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) on the Model Health System (MHS) platform.
Metrics covering all stages of the patient pathway, from admission to discharge, are included in the new specialty compartment for geriatric medicine now available to trusts and systems, enabling colleagues to view up-to-date, benchmarked data on their performance to support improvement work.
Among more than 40 metrics are trust- and system-level information on areas such as the rate of rapid discharge of older adults living with frailty admitted to hospital, weekend discharge rates of older adults, and the proportion of total bed days used by older adults living with frailty who stay in hospital more than 21 days.
Care of older patients living with frailty is one of the main challenges for the NHS, as demand is growing as people live longer. More than half of people aged 65 to 74 live with at least one long-term health condition, and the number of over-85s in England with long-term health conditions is predicted to almost double, from 233,000 in 2015 to 446,000 in 2035.
The MHS metrics are drawn from GIRFT’s national review of geriatric medicine, led by Dr Adrian Hopper, a geriatrician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London. His GIRFT national report was published in 2021, showing that (pre-Covid) there were more than 4,000 admissions daily of people living with frailty to hospitals in England, while over-75s living with frailty occupied about 20% of all bed days (30% in a medical pathway). On average, 50% of older adults living with frailty admitted to hospital stay there for more than 21 days. Older people living with frailty also make up around 30% of outpatient appointments in the NHS.
Dr Hopper said: “We saw huge unwarranted variation between hospitals when we were carrying out our GIRFT review, so it is important that teams have access to benchmarked data on their performance as they work to improve care for older patients with frailty.
“Until now, most have been unable to access common simple measures to know how they are doing and whether interventions are working or not – we hope this will change with the publication of this important GIRFT data.”
While the current GIRFT data is hospital-focused, work is planned to also include data on performance at the interface between acute and community care, and that in the community.
Geriatric medicine is the 16th GIRFT specialty compartment added to MHS. Learn more.