Focus: Westminster: The lottery of long term careBMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6931.742a (Published 19 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:742
- J Warden
Britain last week acquired a minister for the family. The unofficial title was bestowed on health secretary Virginia Bottomley. It signifies her new responsibilities for coordinating Cabinet policies concerning the family. This seems a natural extension of the health secretary's statutory functions in respect of adoption, child law, and the registration of births, marriages, and deaths. And if Mrs Bottomley's ministerial duties now extend beyond the confines of health care, the move is even more appropriate in relation to those at the top of the family tree - the growing population of the very elderly, whose care is also fast becoming beyond the scope of the NHS.
On the same day that Mrs Bottomley was ordained into her new role MPs on the ombudsman select committee were agonising over the very issue of long term care of elderly patients, prompted by a recent ruling …