New plans for patient care

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PENSIONERS who spend time in Wigan hospitals will have a named clinician responsible for their care when they leave under new plans announced by the Government.

The move has been welcomed by health chiefs and charities and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, says it will to help create a “more personal service”.

Mr Hunt proposed that a named doctor or nurse would be responsible for vulnerable patients “at all times”.

He said: “The challenge today is to provide integrated, co-ordinated, out of hospital care. Something where the NHS, with our tradition of family doctors and primary care, could lead the world.

“But to do that we need to know that there is a clinician accountable for vulnerable older people in the community, just as there is a consultant responsible for them in hospital.

“They should be named so that patients, families and carers all know where the buck stops.”

However, the shadow health secretary and Leigh MP Andy Burnham, said the NHS anniversary was being overshadowed by concern over the health service’s future. “Patients and staff have precious little faith that the NHS is safe in the government’s hands,” he added.