The development of ‘community care’ for the elderly, mentally ill, mentally handicapped and physically disabled has been Government policy in Britain since the 1950s. Problems with implementation of this policy led the Audit Commission (1986) to conclude that “the one option that is not tenable is to do nothing about present financial, organisational and staffing arrangements”. Sir Roy Griffiths was commissioned to review “the way funds are used to support community care policy …”. Radical solutions were proposed and subsequently incorporated in the Government White Paper Caring for People (Department of Health, 1989a). However, two very significant measures were not accepted: the ‘ring-fencing’ of community care monies and the creation of a ministerial post within the Department of Health with specific responsibility for community care.
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