The Department of Health has refused to
confirm or deny whether they are considering the possibility of
social services departments being charged for people who remain in
hospital after they have been medically discharged. It described
such reports as “pure speculation”.
The issue of charging for “bed-blockers” is
under consideration by Downing Street and the Department of Health
as part of the comprehensive spending review.
Meanwhile, the British Medical Association has
proposed that nurses in GP surgeries should become gatekeepers to
services, directing patients to social services or pharmacists
rather than to doctors.
– The Future Healthcare Workforce,
February 2002 from web.bma.org.uk