Most independent living is in London

London councils are leading the way in helping older people to live independently at home, new government figures show.

All local authorities in inner London and 90 per cent of those in outer London are already meeting a Department of Health public service agreement target for the proportion of older people being supported intensively to live at home to be at least 34 per cent of the total of those supported at home or in residential care by 2008.

Hackney Council is the strongest performer, with a score of 51.1 per cent, while Sutton Council recorded the biggest increase. But more than half of councils in England are not meeting the target, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The Isles of Scilly had the lowest total, 6.3 per cent.

Councils meeting the target tended to be found in cities with higher population density and better transport links, report authors said.

Intensive home care is a package of care that includes more than 10 contact hours and six or more visits a week from social services.

Care services minister Liam Byrne said research showed older people wanted to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, and they deserved to get what they wanted “whenever they can”.

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