Hewitt urges PCTs not to shunt costs

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has warned primary care trusts not to shunt costs on to social services departments amid evidence this is happening around the country.

At a press briefing she said she had been told of cases of PCTs cutting services in response to NHS deficits, increasing pressures on social care.

She said: “A PCT will reduce a service in the hope or expectation that the local authority will pick up the bill. [PCTs and councils] need to understand that if they get together to decide their priorities they are going to get much better outcomes than if they say ‘this is my pot of money and I’m going to solve my problems at the expense of the person down the road’.”

Wiltshire Council adult social care director Ray Jones said his authority is one of a number that has been on the receiving end of the cost shunting phenomenon.

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