In the latest of a series of Times articles on health, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has used an interview to reiterate his plans for an integrated health and care system, which a Labour Government would introduce through “refounding” the NHS as the National Health and Social Care Service. Burnham argued that hospitals are not designed for helping the elderly, as they do not cover all their needs, adding that the “blurring” of different healthcare needs as a person grows older means that separating them becomes increasingly difficult.
Reiterating his commitment to not having another reorganisation of the NHS, the Shadow Health Secretary stressed that he envisages an integrated system that would use Health and Wellbeing Boards to keep people at home as much as possible. He used the example of a programme currently in place in Torbay, which has led to better care and home and has succeded in “paying for itself” through reducing the number of general medical beds at the local hospital. Burnham concluded by expressing his support for an NHS provided by a majority of NHS providers.