HOME CARE PLAN TO FREE HOSPITAL BEDS; Shake-Up on Elderly Treatment Unveiled

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Byline: By Paul Sinclair

MORE elderly people will be treated in their homes rather than in hospital under plans to be unveiled today.

Professor David Kerr, the Oxford don asked to carry out a review of the Scottish health service last April, will hand his report over to Health Minister Andy Kerr this morning.

It is expected to call for an increase in local care and services - and moves to combat bed-blocking,when older patients are kept in hospital because they have nowhere else to go.

Professor Kerr wants health teams at a community level to look after the elderly in their homes rather than admitting them to hospital.

And it is understood he wants GPs to take more responsibility for treating minor conditions.

Professor Kerr is thought to favour keeping local hospitals open but it is unclear if they will retain all their current services.

While there will be specialist centres for conditions like cancer, itis understood he wants more treatment to be delivered locally.

One source close to the professor said: 'Doctors and nurses at all levels will have to change the way they work to deliver this plan. …