Social prescribing, improved data sharing across healthcare providers and better emotional support at transitional phases in life are some of the priorities of a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for people over 50.
The Committee for Health & Social Care has published its findings after consulting with over 250 people across Guernsey and Alderney.
HSC President Heidi Soulsby said health and care issues were not the only topics that were discussed, with many people talking about issues surrounding transport, signposting, housing and how to maintain meaning and purpose in their lives as they get older.
“This report allows us to better understand our current services, as well as provide information on what older people feel is missing," she said. "We are committed to improving outcomes through prevention and early intervention, and partnership working between the States of Guernsey, other health and care professionals and the third sector, will help us achieve this.”
While the above actions were given as priorities, retraining older people, accessibility of supermarkets, and food and hydration standards in care homes were ranked towards the bottom of the priority list.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health said: “We are now going to focus on an implementation plan to ensure as many of the identified projects are completed as possible. This will be a joint venture between the Committee for Health & Social Care and other States of Guernsey Committees, together with different Health and Care providers and Community and Voluntary organisations, with regular updates on what projects have been completed.”
Age Concern Guernsey Chairman David Inglis said members would "draw comfort from the clear evidence [...] that there is a desire to act in a manner that reflects the urgency, awareness and needs of our community. Whilst workstreams are being developed, specific data within the report should direct resources and manpower cost-effectively, ensuring assistance to the most vulnerable people in our society earlier, thereby supporting the ‘Partnership of Purpose’and the needs of people over 50.”
Almost 8,000 over 65s were admitted to the Princess Elizabeth Hospital last year.
Judy Hayman, who represented service users on the steering group, said: “It has been a huge privilege to represent the older members of our community on this steering group and to witness the hard work and enthusiasm of the civil servants and to be reassured that our findings will not just be consigned to a dusty shelf but will be monitored to check progress on the Join Strategic Needs Assessment’s recommendations.”
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