Is new technology the saviour the NHS needs for elderly care?
The current problems with elderly care provided by the NHS have been well documented over recent times. The Telegraph reported only weeks ago that Age UK found that 1 million elderly patients were not being dealt with or provided the correct care and treatment, due to NHS cutbacks.
The result of this leaves elderly patients being isolated and with no option but to live in residential care homes, often much sooner than they want or need to, often at considerable expense to themselves and their family, usually resulting in the need to sell their property and belongings just to stay in the home. Apart from the most serious cases, most end up paying thousands of pounds a month just to be in an environment where they can receive care because they are not given the care in the community that they need to remain independent and safe. It is often in these types of scenarios, when adequate care in the community is not provided, that medical negligence can occur. Furthermore, unwittingly searching for cheap residential care can put elderly patients into the care of care homes with poor standards of care, leading to more clinical negligence.
However, a new product reported by Bucks Free Press this week could offer a solution to this problem. This effectively monitors the elderly service user in their home, and sends text messages and alerts to a carer whenever anything unusual is reported by the system. It monitors movement in the home and can be used to make sure a service user is eating properly and taking this medication. The benefits of this system are clear to see; allowing people to remain independent, yet receive care when they need it. It gives families the peace of mind to know that they will be alerted as soon as there are any problems. This could result in elderly service users being allowed to stay independent and in their own homes for much longer and only need full time care when it is absolutely necessary.
The full benefits and effectiveness of the system are yet to be seen, but initial feedback presents it as a possible solution to the NHS’ shortcomings in elderly care.
If you have suffered from injuries due to delays in your treatment, or substandard treatment, you may have a claim for medical negligence. These claims could arise from attending a hospital, GP practice or nursing home in England or Wales. If you would like to discuss your concerns with no obligation and free of charge, please contact me on 0207 288 4820 or HannahTravis@boltburdonkemp.co.uk