UK White Paper: Building the National Care Service

First, an introduction and overview from one of the national newspapers, the Times. Labour’s strategy to slay the new evil: a dread of old age.

Second, a link to the Department of Health’s (DH) webpage from where you can download the White Paper.

Third, the DH Care Network Telecare LIN newsletter for March 2010 lists all the relevant (high level, as you would expect) references in the White Paper to the use of and potential for, technology to support people and services. (PDF version)

Fourth, the best comment we have yet seen from the perspective of the telecare/telehealth community: Building a National Care Service White Paper – Technology and Care by the International Longevity Centre.

1 thought on “UK White Paper: Building the National Care Service

  1. Building the national care service

    I agree strongly with the ILC summary. The Govenment have talked too long about using modern technologies, but has not done much about a framework to enable it to happen. For example:

    • Current care provision is fragmented, with PCTs, Hospitals, Councils, Ambulance Services, Pharmacies etc all being separate organisations with their own constitutions and remits, making collaboration difficult or almost impossible.

    • Councils provide care at home to keep people out of hospital, but it is the PCTs that benefit financially at the expense of the Councils.

    • NHS professionals and organisations are mainly remunerated on the basis of face to face consultations, not remote consultations, making telecare unattractive to them.

    • GPs can be very reluctant to diagnose people with LTCs because it follows that care and its cost becomes their PCT’s responsibility, and they are short of budget. So many people needing to move to residential or nursing home care are forced to pay for it themselves. A major private care home provider does not press such residents to get diagnosed because they provide the service for the PCT itself, and could lose that business. It is also unreasonable that many GP Practices charge for looking after residents in care and nursing homes, when healthcare is meant to be free wherever you live.

    • While the Government has aligned the boundaries of PCTs and Councils and enabled some framework for collaboration, very few have actually set up collaborations and most will not even talk to each other. The small number that have established good working relationships have shown results beyond their expectations. Getting the framework right should precede the spouting of new policies.

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