Coalition presses government for free personal care for older people

A coalition of more than 20 national organisations has pressed
the government to listen to the public and make personal care for
older people free, writes Katie

This follows the BBC’s “Your NHS” telephone and online
poll last week in which the public rated free long term care for
older people as their top priority for the NHS.

Free long term care for older people received more than double
the number of votes (73,402) as more pay for NHS staff (28,434).
These were followed by reduced waits for heart and cancer care
(17,292), improved A & Es (15,639) and cleaner hospitals

But prime minister Tony Blair said that rather than introducing
free personal care the government wants to spend the money in
different ways.

“We think that it’s better to put that money into helping
people stay independent in their own homes, for example, that the
billion pounds that will be spent over the next three years will
help somewhere in the region of 130,000 people to do that,” he

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