Row brews over centralised care for old

1 Jun 00
Local authorities have reacted angrily to yet another attempt to sideline them in favour of more centralised control, this time over care of the elderly and the disabled.

02 June 2000

On this occasion the proposal comes not from the government, but from the NHS Confederation, which represents health service managers. The move to transfer provision from local authorities to its members would, it said, provide 'seamless care' and stop the elderly going into hospital 'unnecessarily' and ensure they can be discharged quickly.

Stephen Thornton, chief executive of the confederation, said: 'Twenty years of trying to achieve seamless services for older people have failed the individual. Frontline staff are struggling to provide those services.'

But Sir Jeremy Beecham, the chair of the Local Government Association, responded quickly, saying such a move would be 'a mistake, both in practical and philosophical terms.

'It would remove another area of public administration from effective democratic control and move it into a bureaucracy.'

  • Stephen Thornton has called for the creation of a 'leadership academy' for the NHS to provide a better standard for the service's top echelon.


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