Older people in the UK face a postcode lottery when it comes to care provision, according to a new report.
NHS and social care partners have been urged to address deficiencies in their service by concentrating on refining desired outcomes so they know what needs to be achieved, the Audit Commission report claimed.
Integration between different agencies is key to improving overall service provision, with the commission recognising the inherent risk of cost-shunting, whereby savings made by one organisation create more expenses for another operating in the same area.
One example offered by the report is where Primary Care Trusts cut costs by reducing the number of people admitted to hospital accident and emergency rooms. However, this will put additional pressure on local authorities.
Audit Commission managing director of health Andy McKeon said: "Progress will only be made by better integrating care locally.
"No one part of the public sector can successfully tackle the challenge of delivering good quality care with tight or decreasing budgets."
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