Frailty is a term used by professionals to describe the loss of body resilience, which means that in the case of a physical or mental illness, an accident or other stressful event, people living with frailty will not bounce back quickly.
Brief description of the project
Frailty is related to the ageing process; not all older people are frail and not all individuals living with frailty are older. More about Frailty can be found on NHS England’s website: www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/ltc-op-eolc/older-people/frailty/
NHS Leeds CCG is changing the way it plans and pays for health services. We are moving away from paying for activity (such as the number of hip operations carried out) and focusing more on outcomes (what difference the activity makes to the individual and their carer). We think this will help people live healthier, happier, and more active lives.
The aim of the engagement was to understand what matters to people living with frailty, those at end of life and their carers, so we can identify or develop a tool that can measure the outcomes of care from a patient perspective.
Who did we speak to?
We received feedback from 134 people, of which 96 were people living with frailty, and 38 were carers.
What and how did we ask?
We used focus groups and semi-structured interviews to ask people:
- what they thought about the word frailty
- what matters to them through focus groups and semi-structured interviews.
We worked with 14 voluntary sector organisations and two care homes to identify and engage with people.
What did people tell us?
People had mixed views on the word ‘frailty’. Carers generally found the word helpful but many people living with frailty told us that for them the word had negative connotations.
They told us that what matters to them is:
- Being socially connected
- Being able to do the things they enjoy and look after themselves
- Staying active and healthy
- Receiving good healthcare
- Being independent
- Being in control over their daily life
What did we do?
- Through our better conversations work, we are training staff to avoid talking about frailty and instead talk to people about what is going well for them and how they can improve and maintain their health.
- We are currently using people’s feedback about what matters to them to develop a tool that measures the outcomes of people living with frailty.
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