Seamless care for elderly people
Major investment in GP surgeries, new integrated Care Trusts and incentives to improve NHS performance form the key planks of the NHS and Social Care Bill announced in the Queens Speech early in December. The bill, subject to parliamentary approval, includes steps to set up new care Trusts, integrating health and social services under one roof to provide seamless care for patients, particularly older people. A major aspect of the bill will be to bring in to force a National Performance Fund to reward NHS trusts that offer the highest standards of care. This fund is expected to rise to 500 million pounds a year by 2003/04. Health secretary Alan Milburn said: This bill will build on the foundations we have laid for better, faster care in the NHS. It will help to deliver the governments programme of investment and reform in the NHS.