Professor Anne Hendry was interviewed by the “Management in Health” journal on the issue of healthcare in an ageing society. Professor Hendry is actively involved in several projects and initiatives focused on healthcare for elderly people both at national (Scotland) and international and leader of the Work Package Models of care to prevent or delay progression of frailty and enable people to live well with frailty in JAHEE JA.

Professor Hendry emphasized the urgency to enhance current models of healthcare for meeting increasingly complex and changing needs of older people. Among older people, frailty is a common condition which is considered one of the major public health challenge in Europe. As regards needs of care, frailty shares many features of a chronic condition – said Anne. She continued explaining that such a complex syndrome requires coordinated actions and interdisciplinary approaches to be appropriately addressed.

At European level, several expert groups are working to identify the best possible strategies to be put in place in the next future. Professor Hendry highlighted the relevant contribution of JAHEE JA in promoting a common understanding on frailty in Europe that can facilitate a common approach to diagnosis, care and education of older people. Some key recommendations for models of care for frailty have already emerged from the project:

  • a single entry point in the community (e.g. Primary Care),
  • the use of simple frailty specific screening tools in all care settings,
  • a comprehensive assessment and individualised care plans – including for caregivers,
  • tailored interventions by an interdisciplinary team – both in hospitals and community,
  • case management and coordination of support across the continuum of providers,
  • an effective management of transitions between care teams and settings,
  • the use of shared electronic information tools and technology enabled care solutions,
  • the implementation of clear policies and procedures for service eligibility and care processes.