Supporting Self-Care: self-management support intervention for older people with frailty

  • Run by Trust Primary Care, in partnership with Age UK Bradford, the Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation, and the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network Improvement Academy
  • Aimed to help older people with mild frailty self-manage their health and wellbeing through collaborative working between primary care and the voluntary sector
  • Developed and implemented a self-management support (SMS) intervention which does not currently exist for this group of patients
  • Project ran from January 2017 to April 2018

Older people living with frailty are at increased risk of mortality, and being admitted to a hospital or nursing home. The resources needed to manage frailty and other long-term conditions are considerable. A critical part of future service delivery for these people is to improve the degree to which older people become engaged in ‘self-management’.

There is evidence that frailty may be modifiable and it is considered to have greater reversibility than disability, however, although there is evidence of effect in older people from self-management support (SMS) for other long-term conditions, there is no specific evidence in frailty.

This project by Trust Primary Care tested the feasibility of using a novel Supporting Self-Care (SSC) intervention with older people with mild frailty registered at Saltaire Medical Practice. 

The SSC intervention was delivered by an Age UK Coordinator, who provided information and personalised support to help people with mild frailty to overcome their individual barriers to healthy ageing, enabling them to remain fit and independent for longer.

Of the 168 people who were offered the intervention, 106 people took it up; a 63% acceptance rate. The project demonstrated how much time is needed to recruit and engage patients.

The GP practice’s patient participation group was instrumental to the project, as was the team working culture by all partners during set up, early implementation and service delivery.

Ongoing funding options are now being explored, and there has been interest from other GP practices in extending the initiative to them, along with building on the relationships which have now been developed with Age UK and the practice.

Contact details

For more information about this project, please Emma Snee, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Saltaire Medical Practice, Richmond Road or Sarah De Biase, Healthy Ageing Programme Manager, Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network Improvement Academy.

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