Professor Jenny Billings
Professor of Applied Health Research Phone: 01227 823876
Excellence in Health Research
Professor Jenny Billings will be working with lead investigator Professor Peter Lloyd-Sherlock at the University of East Anglia (School of International Development) on this timely and valuable research project.
Brazil’s large public healthcare system aims to provide good care to all, but in common with the UK is facing mounting financial pressures due to the needs of a rapidly ageing population.
This MRC-funded project aims to support policy and practice to reduce unneeded admissions of older Brazilians to hospital and care homes, and reduce unnecessarily long stays. This will improve efficiency of service provision and optimise the health of the older population. Unnecessary hospital stays expose older people to new risks such as acquired infections.
Drawing on studies and experiences in other countries, such as the UK, and talking to Brazil’s policymakers and practitioners, the study will develop a clear strategy to identify whether admissions could have been averted or length of stay reduced. A new national survey (ELSI) will produce data showing which older people are most likely to experience these problems and identify which situations trigger unnecessary admissions/lengthy stays.
As well as analysing the data, the research team, working closely with social care practitioners, will develop detailed case studies of two Brazilian cities in different regions, talking to selected ELSI survey participants and their families about their experiences to gather a clear picture of the problem and focus on solutions. They will carry out a review of a pilot project offering temporary homecare services for frail people and carefully assess this, considering how well it has worked (in the eyes of practitioners, as well as older people and families) and any impact on unneeded admissions/long stays.
The project represents an excellent opportunity for CHSS to apply extensive research expertise gained in the UK and elsewhere, to a Brazilian context. Specifically, the aspects of our work relating to the development of new models for integrated health and care provision for older people are highly relevant to similar challenges now facing Brazil’s health system.
Funder: The Newton Fund, Medical Research Council (MRC)
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