Health and care of older people in care homes: a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach

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Please note: this report has been withdrawn and is not for clinical use.

Report of a joint working party of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Geriatrics Society, published July 2000

Older people in nursing and residential care homes represent one of the most vulnerable populations in the UK. Their health care should be equitable with others and tailored to their specific needs. This report reviews existing care arrangements and finds them wanting and haphazard - not least because the organisation of services is often overshadowed by debates about costs and regulatory mechanisms.

Ten major recommendations are made in the report with details of the resources that would be needed to implement them. These include;

  • the planning and provision of services
  • the definition and expansion of the roles of nurses, physicians, general practitioners, pharmacists and other professional groups
  • the concept of 'a teaching nursing home' should be developed
  • the responsibility for identification and integration of health care support should lie with a specialist gerontological nurse
  • that an agreed Comprehensive Assessment Tool should be adopted for each resident; that GP's roles and responsibilities in relation to care homes should be defined
  • that geriatricians, old age psychiatrists and pharmacists should be integrated into structured planning for care.

Because many residents in care homes have multiple medical conditions, a carefully organised interdisciplinary approach is of paramount importance to their health and well being.


  • Assessment
  • Care planning
  • Organisation of care
  • General practice services
  • Specialist medical care
  • Medication and pharmacists
  • Professions allied to medicine
  • Training, learning and development
  • Research and development
  • Resource implications of the recommendations
Copies of the report are available on request.

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