The challenge to improve health for the same or reduced cost will be acute in the NHS over the next ten years, especially for people with high needs. A critical group will be older people with long term conditions and multiple co-morbidities. Though a large number of initiatives in service delivery are currently being tried for this group, we don’t always know what works best. The aim of this project is to help the NHS spot effective care by the innovative use of data to try to identify those areas that are getting it right.

We are developing indicators that will tell us about variations in care processes across the country and using these to liaise with areas where outcomes appear to be better than expected. We will also test the validity of these measures by comparing them at patient level to more direct measures of health status. This will allow us to assess their effectiveness for assessing quality of care and refine them into more precise and sensitive indicators.

A final set of metrics will then be applied to the whole country to identify areas in England where the care pathways seem better than expected in terms of promoting better quality of care for older people. These areas will then be explored using qualitative methods to assess the nature of the successful service.

We will be setting up an expert advisory group consisting of geriatricians and other professionals with knowledge about the care of older people, which will be launched in early 2015. 

We will also be publishing an initial report of findings in 2015. 

The project is led by Chris Sherlaw-Johnson who is working with Alisha Davies, Miranda Davies, Paul Smith and Claire Currie.

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