Older people’s charity Help the Aged has
welcomed the creation of an extra 1,300 intermediate care beds, but
warned that the delay in hospital discharge is “only one symptom of
the wider breakdown” in elderly care.
Health minister Jacqui Smith allocated
£46m from an intermediate care pot of £66m. More
intermediate care beds will follow in the £20m second
The funding has been allocated to a variety of
intermediate care development schemes ranging from a £2m unit
at Aintree University Hospital to a £30,000 scheme to upgrade
a residential home to provide additional intermediate care beds in
Other schemes include an extension to a
voluntary sector nursing home in Colchester and two schemes to
convert sheltered housing to provide intermediate care facilities
in Dorset and London.
But Help the Aged urged the government to take
a broader view.
“This small amount of intermediate care
funding fails to address the needs of older people with chronic
conditions who urgently need long-term quality care,” said head of
policy Tessa Harding.
Smith was speaking at an older people’s
champions’ conference in London where she also announced the launch
of the information strategy for older people and a website for the
National director for older people’s services
Ian Philp said he was looking forward to working with
“I hope they will be particularly concerned to
root out age discrimination in health and social care.”
– Information strategy for older people can be
found at: www.doh.gov.uk/ipu/strategy/nsf/4.htm
– Website for older people’s champions at: www.doh.gov.uk/nsf/olderpeople.htm