A Home Office white paper outlining plans to tackle rural poverty and isolation, published this week, will praise Lincolnshire county council's rural action zone as a model of joint agency working to help tackle issues such as bed blocking. The Lincolnshire RAZ, also launched this week, follows the South Holland assessment and rehabilitation/respite programme, a pilot project set up in January. It provides a 24-hour service for elderly people, promoting independence by offering people the option of being cared for in their own home, and has a pooled health and social services budget. The aim of the project is to avoid inappropriate hospital or long-term nursing/residential care admissions. Some 20-30 hospital admissions a month have been prevented by the service and it has so far dealt with over 400 referrals.