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Continuing care of Old People—A Medical Viewpoint

  • Richard Lewis (a1) and John Wattis (a2)

Abstract

Provision for old people who are in need of continuing care requires close co-operation between informal carers and different agencies and disciplines providing health and social care. In the United Kingdom, the present system of care has evolved from earlier patterns of care centred on the asylums and the poor law with its workhouse institutions. It lacks cohesion. Despite the designation of old people as a priority group, resources are still inadequate to provide a good quality of care. Organisational differences between health and social services can lead to inefficient use of existing resources. More specialised medical, psychiatric and social services for old people enhance the possibilities for co-operation even though they may appear to lead to greater fragmentation. The history of the development of these services in the UK, including the recent expansion of private sector care, is reviewed, with special attention from the medical perspective to the phenomenon of ‘bed blocking’. The recently published Griffiths Report on community care is briefly considered, and some principles for future developments are laid down.

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Continuing care of Old People—A Medical Viewpoint

  • Richard Lewis (a1) and John Wattis (a2)

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