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NHS BIDS FOR WIDER SOCIAL CARE ROLE

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The NHS Confederation has told the government that the health service should take over the role of local authoritie...
The NHS Confederation has told the government that the health service should take over the role of local authorities in providing care for the elderly and disabled, reports The Financial Times (p3).

The confederation, which represents health authorities and trusts, says the move is needed to provide 'seamless care'. It would prevent the elderly going into hospital unnecessarily and ensure quick discharge, either to their own home or to intermediate care when they no longer need a hospital bed.

Under the proposal, the NHS would also have to be given the right to charge for some social care, including places in residential and nursing homes.

Stephen Thornton, confederation chief executive, said that big variations in the amount local authorities spent on social services produced equally big variations in the service offered to NHS patients, because the work was inter-related.

A unified system would reduce geographical variations and produce integrated teams to ensure that the elderly received the right care in the right setting.
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