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BETTER NHS-SOCIAL SERVICES LINKS NEEDED FOR ELDERLY CARE

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An Audit Commission report has said that the government must legislate to allow the effective transfer of cash betw...
An Audit Commission report has said that the government must legislate to allow the effective transfer of cash between the NHS and local authorities, and to define the boundries of free NHS care for the elderly, the Financial Times (p11) reports.

The report, entitled 'The Coming of Age', says co-ordination of care for the elderly between health and social services is poor, responsibilities are unclear, standards are ill defined and the system provides incentives to push people into costly residential and care homes.

Present arrangements between health and social services lock both into a costly and wasteful 'vicious circle' broken only by joint planning and investment, which has proven hard to achieve, the report says.

The commission also says that fundamental change is needed to allow cash to be switched more easily between health and social services, and to define the boundries of free NHS care and means-tested social care.
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