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Andy Burnham: NHS needs “decisive shift” towards home care

18 February 2010

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Patients would have better NHS care if treatments were given in their own homes, the government has said.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the health service could save £2.7bn a year by increasing community services, such as providing dialysis in people’s homes.

This was one of several plans announced by the prime minister earlier this month, including proposals to send specialist nurses into homes to care for cancer sufferers and provide chemotherapy treatment out of hospitals.

Home dialysis could allow about 7,000 people in England to avoid long hospital visits several times a week, according to Department of Health figures.

“The time has come for the NHS to make a decisive shift in providing more care out of hospitals and in the patient’s community and home,” said Mr Burnham.

“For too long, services have been organised to fit the convenience of the system. A great NHS will put the convenience of the patient first and move services towards them where it is safe to do so.”

“The NHS needs to do more to plan services around patients – even taking services into their home,” he said.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Department of Health

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