By Jackie Oldham, Honorary Director, Edward Centre for Healthcare Management Research
China has one of the largest aging populations in the world and in 2010 it was estimated that 160million people were aged 60years or over. Traditional family based approaches to care of aging relatives are no longer sustainable yet few alternatives exist for elder care management. The Chinese government in recognition of this problem has expressed a desire to build a comprehensive elder care system by 2020 and this has encouraged an entrepreneurial approach to the problem. Edward Healthcare has risen to this challenge and has combined their strengths with those in the United Kingdom to provide a framework for healthcare management of the elderly in China.
I have had the pleasure of convening a panel of distinguished UK experts to oversee the development of this framework that has been produced by TRUSTECH (the North West NHS innovation service). This has resulted in a comprehensive manual that details standard operating procedures and standards for home care / care home operations. Many of the standards described are based on legislative and quality requirements as laid down by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Department of Health within the UK, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and from the experiences and expertise of the Steering Group. Standards derived from other countries and expertise therein may serve to re-enforce and enhance the material provided.
It is intended that this manual be used as a framework for the provision of a first rate elderly healthcare service. This manual is incomplete however, without proper recognition that at the heart of our definition of a quality healthcare management service is maintaining dignity, maximising independence depending on ability and optimising quality of life. With this definition at the heart of practice we hope this manual will form the basis of quality service developments across China.