A huge shift in public spending away from the NHS and into social services run by local authorities is needed to ensure a better quality of life for older people, according to care services minister Ivan Lewis.

This week Mr Lewis called on the government to shift hundreds of millions of pounds from the NHS to provide better support for people needing everyday help. 'People are living longer with increasingly complex conditions. They will want to remain in their own homes or non-institutionalised care and retain control of their own destiny for as long as possible,' he said.

He said commissioning of social care by GPs should be the norm.