It is widely thought that the social care and health systems in the UK are no longer particularly adequate to deal with the expectations and needs of the increasing number of old people in the country. This is not something that is just limited to the UK, but is seen across the globe, and it is interesting to see how different countries are dealing with the problem.
The approach in the UK is largely something that has been developed over the past 20 years, and is now being rather criticised by the coalition government. This government want to see a move from a controlled market, to a free market, although one that is heavily underpinned by laws regarding competition. The government want to see the private sector more involved in this area and being able to commission healthcare and is provided for the elderly.
Some critics are saying that this could be the start of the end of universal healthcare that is state funded, and the creation of a system that is based on insurance. An alternative model can be found just over the border in Scotland, where the system was even different before devolution started taking place on a greater scale. In Scotland, the creation of individual trusts is something that has been heavily resisted, and the two countries have very different systems.
Scotland have a focus on integrated care, rather than a market-based system, and it seems as if this is capable of meeting the needs of patients. Currently proposals are taking place to consider changes to the system, and a great deal of focus is being placed on practicalities. Currently, it is not really known where the system is going to head, but a serious amount of consideration is going to be paid to whether the Scottish system could work in England.