Column: Reporting Back with MP Anne McIntosh

MP Anne McIntosh.
MP Anne McIntosh.

It is good news that we are all living longer and enjoying a better quality of life with recent developments in medical science.

However, the rise in the elderly in a rural and sparsely populated area like North Yorkshire poses problems of care in often isolated situations.

The Government has tried to tackle these issues through the recent Health and Social Care Act and the White Paper on Caring for our future reforming care and support.

Crucially what the Act does is aim to better integrate the health services with health, social care and other health related services which will improve service quality or reduce inequalities.

This means more power and responsibility will be handed over to health boards who are deemed to be better placed to make informed decisions on care procedure for their patients.

Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts will be abolished by 2014 and will be replaced by a new National Commissioning Board.

The White Paper on Care and Support Reform outlined changes which are intended to enable individuals to take control of the way that they are cared for and also be able to decide what care they get.

The care which is being provided will be tailored around the individual needs of the patient so recovery time is shortened and the individual is able to return home.

The recently published report by Andrew Dilnot into care has been supported by the Government.

This means the principle of implementing a cap on the amount a patient must pay for their care is supported by the Government.

This would have positive effects on hospitals in the community like the Lambert Memorial Hospital which cares for the elderly.

Allowing local government to determine how funds are spent in their areas means decisions can be made quicker concerning which services are provided ultimately benefiting the community.

Poor performing hospitals will be subject to intense scrutiny from the clinicians, health and well-being boards alongside encouraging local engagement into such decisions will be expectant.