Community care: The King’s Fund report

A report published by The King’s Fund highlights why the UK should refocus the healthcare system to prioritise primary and community care.

‘Making care closer to home a reality’ looks at why this hasn’t yet happened and what needs to change in future.

Here, we summarise the key elements of the report. And our Operations Director Rachel Davy provides her expert view in relation to complex and high acuity care.

The King’s Fund report into community care

The report highlights a ‘cycle of invisibility’ where quantifying the services is difficult but overlooking them is much easier. It also states there’s a misconception that the public prioritises hospital services over and above community care.

“Just as the system is complex, so are the solutions.”

The WHO backs a community-based approach too. They claim it’s ‘the most inclusive, effective and efficient way to enhance people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing’.

The complexity of providing health and care services is more apparent than ever. And our understanding of the impact of one health condition on another has developed. For instance, evidence shows people over the age of 85 have an average of 5.2 health conditions each.

This means we need a holistic approach – looking at the totality of a person’s health and wellbeing rather than each condition in isolation.

“You’re more than the sum of your disease. In the same way, the care and support you need is more than the sum of just individual transactions, it needs to be seen in the context of helping you as a person.”

Komplex’s Rachel Davy says:

“The very principle Komplex Care was founded on was the idea that everyone should have safe and viable alternatives to hospital settings. By providing high-quality complex care in their own homes, not only are there numerous benefits to the client themselves. It also places less strain on inpatient care, an advantage to the entire healthcare system.

“Ideally, inpatient care should be a short-term response to injury, illness, or the need for surgical intervention. Then a care team can step in post-discharge, with a package designed around the client’s ongoing needs.

“The report highlights a key point that often individuals have co-existing conditions – known as comorbidities. This is where a complex care team comes into its own: considering the client’s entire physical and mental wellbeing as part of their care package assessment.

“Another takeaway from the report is the much-needed focus on raising the status of working with community health services. Complex care teams manage clients’ respiratory, feeding, mobility, and medication needs. They have a wealth of knowledge and a huge responsibility when it comes to securing the best outcomes for clients.

“As our client Ben put it so eloquent in the recent video we shared – care is a hugely underrated profession. In reality, care provision has a huge impact on quality of life for all of our clients.”

We’d love to hear your thoughts about the importance of community-based care. You can share your comments on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.