New report into older people's experiences of transitions in health and social care

Posted on Thursday 20th September 2012

A new report from academics at HSMC and the Institute of Applied Social Studies (IASS) presents the findings from in-depth interviews with 75 older people about their experiences of transitions in health and social care services. Funded by the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D Programme (now the Health Services and Delivery Research Programme), the research focused on the experiences of more marginalised groups including older people with dementia and older people from black and minority ethnic communities.

The study was carried out in partnership with 22 older co-researchers, who co-produced all elements of the research: from design of the research tools, through carrying out the in-depth interviews, to analysing and reporting the findings. Another important aspect of the study was that the qualitative research was followed by an implementation phase, during which the study team (including co-researchers) fed back the findings to the case study areas and worked with local service providers and commissioners to reflect on and develop local practice. The experiences of some of the co-researchers who took part in the study are shared in the above short video.

Older people told researchers that they wanted to be seen as human beings with needs and feelings, not just as a problem to be solved. However, many people felt that they were not always treated with dignity and respect, which is regarded as the foundation for good care. The problems which the research highlights include:

  • A lack of information about the services on offer
  • Difficulties getting a clear diagnosis of dementia
  • Patients not being kept informed about important developments in their care
  • Very little advance notifications and preparation for discharge from hospital
  • Unrealiable home and social care arrangements

Despite these problems, the researchers also heard about services and professionals that provided personalised, compassionate and proactive care. One participant described herself as "proud and patriotic" after receiving a service designed to support patients and their families to make the transition from hospital back home.

Video responses to the report

Video responses to the Transitions Report


Read the full report at The National Institute for Health Research

Further information

If you would like further information on the study and its findings, please contact Rosemary Littlechild on r.j.littlechild@bham.ac.uk.