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New care plan 'could save lives of elderly'

29th January 2007

Reforming the way care services operate could save the lives of up to 800 elderly people a year, a top doctor has argued.

Ian Philp, the national director for older people, warned that change was needed if Britain was to have any chance of coping with an increase in the number of over-85s.

While the Recipe for Care report commends some "excellent examples" of elderly care in the NHS, it says more investment is needed to help prevent problems such as hip fractures.

Professor Philp said: "What I am recommending is a five point plan to change older people's services for the better – early intervention, long-term conditions management, early supported discharge, acute hospital care when needed and partnership working.

"This is already happening in some areas but it needs to happen across the country."
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt welcomed the report.

"The NHS and social care services need to change because people's needs are changing with an ageing population."

She added: "Professor Philp has made it clear that early intervention and more and better services in the community will give older people what they need and want."