Research Article

Domiciliary care for the elderly sick--economy or neglect?

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 01 January 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:30
  1. L J Opit


    This paper reports an investigation of the costs of domiciliary care for 139 elderly sick patients under the care of the home nursing service. The data suggest that there may be little economic advantage in home care for seriously disabled elderly people. The revenue cost of domiciliary care was equal to or greater than the average associated with residential or hospital custodial care in such patients. Even so, the cost of services received at home did not disclose the real need for domiciliary care, since at present this is obscured by compulsory rationing and the separation of responsibility between health and social services. It is suggested that the supposed economic advantage of domiciliary care will depend increasingly on restricting such services, thus increasing the degree of neglect to some patients.