The new Govt white paper on Health , still under detailed discussion, propose the dissolution of the local Primary Care Trusts to be replaced by 'Commissioning Groups' run mainly by local General Practitioners. It sounds ok , but in reality the situation is far from 'satisfactory'. Various services to older and vulnerable people are being either 'reduced' or ' withdrawn'. We have heard that the Home Visiting Services in Westhoughton are being diminished due to a reduction in 'grant' from the Council.

The 'low' level Home - care needs are being reduced or withdrawn ; in other words in situations where a small amount of assistance would keep the individual going, will be stopped , until their 'dependency' gets more severe !! ( The joke is , at the same time, the Authorities are talking about 'prevention' and 'early intervention' !!) The national saga of that private Nursing Home organisation ''Southern Cross'' has hit Bolton too - they have 3 Nursing Homes in the borough ; the future of the residents must be very uncertain , although I am quite sure, no one will end up 'homeless' in the street..

The general attitude of family doctors towards older people who are frail ,dependent and with multiple chronic disorders , has always been an issue ; if our family doctors were to be financially responsible for the care of the old, we would sincerely hope , they would learn a little bit more about infirmity and ageing. I live in hope !!