Dr Ros Altmann, commenting on former NHS chief executive Lord Crisp’s view that more hospitals should close, said: “This is the right idea, but gets things in the wrong order. In reality, the faster and more comprehensively domiciliary care is developed - backed by a robust and realistic care funding process – the sooner hospital costs and demand for beds will fall,” said Dr Altmann.
“Lord Crisp states that there is an over-capacity in hospitals. However, we feel that the priority is to ensure efficiency and effective use of hospital beds. Many people stay in hospital longer than they need to or drop into the NHS unnecessarily so a properly supported and funded home based system that would ensure those that are able to return home can do so much earlier, would release pressure on the NHS and allow for a proper assessment of any over-capacity.
“If hospitals are closed or departments contracted before the social care system – particularly domiciliary care - is developed, then matters will get worse rather than better.
“The key is the implementation of the findings of the Dilnot Commission – more money for care – and fast.”
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