The NHS could save £2.7 billion per year by extending services available in the community, health secretary Andy Burnham has said.
The claim came as Mr Burnham said there must be a "decisive shift" in the NHS towards providing more care in people's homes.
The health secretary claimed the NHS could offer patients a better outcome by providing dialysis in their homes - something which could benefit around 7,000 people in England, according to Department Of Health figures.
The pledge to take more NHS services into the community was unveiled by Prime Minister Gordon Brown alongside plans to provide free home care for cancer patients.
Mr Burnham said: "The time has come for the NHS to make a decisive shift in providing more care out of hospitals and in the patient's community and home.
"For too long, services have been organised to fit the convenience of the system. A great NHS will put the convenience of the patient first and move services towards them where it is safe to do so. The NHS needs to do more to plan services around patients - even taking services into their home."
Copyright © Press Association 2010
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"Good idea if services are transferred into the community when it is safe to do so - but we have all heard of patients transferred into the community when it was not safe to do so. Due to shortage of beds patients are sent home too early, and re-admission rates are high. There are not enough trained nurses in the community to carry out the care required and nurses are too bogged down by paper work" - Name and address supplied
"I agree with these comments. I have been with NHS since 1973 and seen at least 3-4 changes and none seem to work, it always end up with too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. Money going where it should not and a lot of waste both in material and time. Sickness and laziness taking up a large
trunk" - Dorrel Fyffe
"As a community nurse experience teaches me that patients to prefer to be nursed in their own home; however, this does need to backed up with more resources and financial reward for nurses on the front line, eg, ca and maintenance allowances need to improve as well as staff grading as we are dealing with more complex patients as autonomous practitioners and will be saving the NHS a considerable amount of money eg patients in their own home do not require hospital food, etc" - Name and address supplied
"Community nursing services are stretched already, the government seems to think that we can take on everything it throws at us - with no extra staff to undertake the care. We are at breaking point" - Name and address supplied
"I have worked in the NHS for over 40 years and been round the cycle a few times. The best way to organise the NHS and get back to excellent care at the coalface is to get rid of the individual trusts, PCTs etc and return to a truly National Health Service with expert care for all without tiers and tiers of management with no clue on care provision other than how to manage a bank account. People are entitled to quality care assessed and provided by trained staff without having to jump through miles of paper hoops. The NHS is precious and should be protected. The principle free at the point of delivery is even more important today. Local corporate bodies do not necessarily provide good quality care" - Name and address supplied
"All very well saying this but the money needs to be shifted from the acute sector into the community. The community has always been the poor relation" - Sylvia Taylor, South-east
"Community services are stretched to the limit ... What funding and training are we going to get to support this? Interesting all the promises to the public, must be time for an election!" - Doreen Hughes, Suffolk
"Admirable idea. Be interested to see how he thinks he is going to achieve it and what resources will back it up!" - M Mackenzie, East London
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