Proposals to reform care for elderly people in Britain are likely to borrow from the system in Australia, it emerged this week.

Australia was one of four countries visited by members of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly, which is due to report to health secretary Frank Dobson in January.

In a report, commissioners say the Australian system - which includes national disability eligibility criteria and elements of means-testing - is 'a model worth closer consideration'. But means-testing for nursing home care is 'highly controversial' in Australia.