Frequently asked questions
A guide for older adults 65 and over (a PDF version of this guide can be viewed here)
Why is access to care services for older patients in the local area changing?
Your local NHS is introducing a new care service for older adults in response to feedback from local people.
Local people there said that they would like, “access to care for older adults aged 65 and over in the area to be more coordinated and more consistent.”
They said that the way in which care for older people has been offered in the past has been, “too fragmented” and added that patients, “do not want to have to tell their story to lots of different care professionals every time they access care.
I’m over 65. Is access to health and social care changing for me?
Yes, your access to care is changing. The new service unites all the local organisations that could be involved in your care. Consequently it has been designed to put you at the centre of any plans and developments made in the management of your care.
What does this mean for me?
The pioneering service aims to provide you with access to care services in a more coordinated and consistent way than in the past.
It brings together professionals from health, social care and voluntary organisations and ensures that your GP, together with other care providers, works with you to provide the best possible health and social care services to meet your needs.
Will my GP still do the same job?
Your GP will still be responsible for your care, as they are now. The biggest change is that your GP will be able to spend more time with you.
That’s because your local NHS has recruited around 40 new members of staff to work with GPs in Kensington and Chelsea and parts of Westminster (Queens Park and Paddington). These are called case managers and health and social care assistants. They have a wide variety of skills and areas of expertise.
Will my social worker change?
Your social worker will not change. You will continue to receive social care as you do now. However, with your permission, your social worker will work with you and with other care professionals (including your GP) to make sure every aspect of your care plan is in harmony with other health professionals.
Any plan you may already have developed with your social worker will become part of your overarching care plan, developed in partnership with your GP.
What is care planning and do I need to do it?
You are invited to come and talk to your GP about planning your care at a care planning meeting and take advantage of the new service. At the meeting you will talk about your health, as well as your day-to-day life. That’s because care planning involves every aspect of your health and social care and considers what is important to you. This is called integrated care.
When you come to your care planning appointment, please feel free to ask any questions you have and be as open as you can with your GP about your situation. The meeting is all about us working together to you for the best possible result.
What will happen at my care planning appointment?
At your first care planning appointment you will meet the member of your care team. This might include your GP, your case manager and your health and social care assistant. The number of people in your team will depend on your current health and healthcare needs.
What do I need to bring to my care planning appointment?
It would be helpful if you could bring the following things to your care planning appointment: your NHS number (if you know it), the details of any professional people who are involved in your care and details about any existing health conditions or allergies you have.
How long will my care planning meeting last?
The length of your care planning meeting will depend on the condition of your health and whether your GP thinks you need to have any tests. If you are attending an appointment at one of the Integrated Care Centres please be prepared to stay for longer than you would at a normal appointment. This may be because of extra tests you may have there.
Care planning and sharing patient information.
When you attend your first care planning appointment, your GP will ask you if you are happy to:
- Share your information with other care professionals for the purposes of providing you with coordinated and consistent care.
- Share your information for discussion at multi-disciplinary team meetings that involve non-clinical professionals, such as social care professionals and representatives from the voluntary sector.
This consent is explicit and will be recorded in your GP’s system. If you do not give this consent, no personal information about you will be shared with anyone else.
If you do not wish to take part in care planning, you can talk to your GP about other options that are available to you.
Who will be able to see my records?
GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, social workers and other authorised health and social care professionals who are in direct contact with you will have access to your health and social care records.
Will my information be shared with other people and will it be safe?
With your permission, your GP will work with health and social professionals to plan your care and these professionals will share your information with each other.
This will mean that everyone who is involved in planning or providing your care will have access to your up-to-date information whenever they see you, so your care will be both coordinated and consistent.
Rigorous data security measures are in place to ensure your information, which is protected under the Data Protection Act 1998, is safe. Your personal information will only ever be used to support your own direct care. It will never be shared with, or sold to, anyone else.
Will you ask for my consent?
Each service that provides you with health or social care services keeps records about you and your health. In the past this information has usually only been shared by letter, email, fax or phone.
What we have learned from patient feedback is that this information “can get lost,” “the process is slow,” and “information is usually not up-to-date across different services.”
Patients have said that they, “often have to repeat their information and tell their story multiple times.” The new service will stop this from happening.
Can someone come with me to my care planning appointment?
Yes, you can bring someone with you. You are welcome to bring a carer, relative or friend with you to any of your care planning appointments. You may want that person to take part in the discussion, or simply to be there to support you.
Please don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have, or to be open with your GP.
The new care service is focused on improving your care and we can do that best with your help and participation.
What if I need an interpreter?
If you need an interpreter to help you at your appointment, please ask us or let the person booking your appointment know at the time of booking.
What are Integrated Care Centres? Do I need to go there?
Integrated Care Centres are dedicated spaces that bring together key services in one place under one roof. The centres have been designed to offer a wide range of care and support services for your convenience.
There are two Integrated Care Centres:
The St Charles Integrated Care Centre, in Ladbroke Grove
St Charles Centre for Health and Wellbeing
Telephone: 0208 962 4600
The Violet Melchett Integrated Care Centre, near Chelsea Old Town Hall
30 Flood Walk
Telephone: 020 7349 2802
Maps to each of the centres are available on their webpages.
How do I get to an Integrated Care Centre?
If you are unable to travel to an Integrated Care Centre on your own please ask us or let the person booking your appointment know at the time of booking.
If you have any more questions about the new way of providing care for older people in West London, please contact your GP who will be happy to help you. Or visit our webpage: /your-services/older-adults-aged-65-and-over.aspx