Headlines: October 6th, 2010

The heads of Adult social services welcomed news of extra funding for work to ensure elderly people get care in the weeks following their discharge from hospital. The 70 million pounds of extra money was announced by the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, who said it would prevent patients being re-admitted to hospital soon after treatment.

The president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Richard Jones, welcomed the announcement as an encouraging first step towards ensuring sensible, effective preventative services being put in place quickly and carefully, sparing the NHS the expense of unnecessary and disruptive readmissions.

Mr. Jones added: “It is good news and we see it as confirming our view that only by tighter integration of health and social care services in the community will real savings, and real improvements in services, be made.” He said local authorities had already invested significantly in re-ablement services. The new money would be used to build on existing services helping people to return home.

Mr. Lansley said too many patients failed to get the ‘seamless effective service’ they needed when they left hospital. The new money would be used to support people in the first six weeks after leaving hospital and could be spent on home adaptations or the provision of drop-in services. It is estimated that 35,000 people will benefit over the next six months.