Burnham raises home care stakes

Dialysis at home could improve the lives of 7,000 people
Dialysis at home could improve the lives of 7,000 people

By politics.co.uk staff

The NHS should not be afraid of transforming services from hospital to the home, health secretary Andy Burnham will say later.

It comes as he announces government ambitions towards providing more care at home, including dialysis for around 7,000 potential people.

His calls are likely to give last week's clashes over Labour's plans to expand home care further impetus.

"For too long, services have been organised to fit the convenience of the system," Mr Burnham will say.

"A great NHS will put the convenience of the patient first, and move services towards them where it is safe to do so. But care in the home can also achieve better results and save money."

Patients would be able to tailor their dialysis sessions around their lifestyle under the proposed changes.

Among its benefits are better blood pressure control, fewer admissions to hospital and greater freedom from dietary restrictions.

It is hoped home haemodialysis could be introduced by improving commissioning and local implementation levels.

"We are already seeing Lord Darzi's vision to put quality at the heart of care becoming a reality across the country, but we can go further," Mr Burnham will add.

"By making NHS services truly people-centred and ensuring that patients have access to high quality, integrated and efficient community services, the NHS could save up to £2.7bn a year - meaning a better service for patients, and a more productive service for taxpayers."

The government is due to publish the final version of its national framework for children and young people's continuing care shortly.


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