Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Teams of home care workers will be recruited to keep people out of hospital, Burnham promises

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 25 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5875

Rapid Response:

The proposal for teams of home care workers by Burnham to keep people out of hospitals may be the solution for 21st Century health resource problems1. Our population is aging and it is essential that a combination of health and social care is provided as a whole to target the challenge of age related disabilities in the community.

Is integrated care a new concept? The integration of social and health care was introduced in the WHO guidelines of community based rehabilitation over forty years ago and includes personal care by optimising the use of local resources. The proposal for teams of home care workers may need to consider the training and responsibilities of the community for personal care as funding reduces.

The aging population and increase in associated disabilities will continue to draw on health resources. Perhaps we could learn from our third world country neighbours and reduce our reliance on big tertiary hospitals to help integrate people back to their home.

1. Iacobuchi G. Teams of Home Care Workers will be recruited to keep people out of hospital BMJ 2014;349
2. World Health Organization, 2010. Community-Based Rehabilitation: CBR Guidelines. Pck Pap/CD Edition. World Health Organization

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 October 2014
Melody N Wong
Rehabilitation Registrar
Stephen Wilson
Royal North Shore Hospital
Reserve Road, St Leonards, 2065, Australia