Geriatric patients attending emergency departments have been found to have unmet social needs undermining their physical health and psychological well-being and leading to avoidable emergency re-attendance, and emergency admission on social grounds. Studies have shown that where older service users do access social care via the emergency department, this is associated with improved health, reduced re-attendance and emergency admission rates and is more cost effective. In the United Kingdom (UK) the National Service Framework for Older People stresses the crucial importance of accessing integrated services “wherever people enter the system.” As emergency departments constitute a critical point of access for social care for older people it is important to know how UK emergency departments are responding.
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- accident and emergency departments
- older people
- geriatric patients
- social care