books

Published: 20/03/2003, Volume II3, No. 5847 Page 25

Integrating health and social care By Jon Glasby Publisher: Radcliffe Medical Press. ISBN: 1857759796.

160 pages.£24.95.

The dust jacket describes this book as a 'guide' and says it 'examines the reasons for difficulties in hospital discharge and considers possible solutions'.

It certainly includes a comprehensive overview of policy since 1945 and two long chapters on research since the 1970s. These show that studies have repeatedly found the same problems with discharge, poorly co-ordinated services, poor communication and a lack of consideration for older people. There is then a rather shorter (20-page) chapter on three possible 'solutions' - winter pressures planning, partnership and intermediate care. It concludes by arguing that action will be needed at an individual, organisational and structural level to really get on top of the problem.