this week

A member of the Royal Commission on Long-Term Care has attacked government 'silence' over its report.

Robert Stout, professor of geriatric medicine at Queen's University, Belfast, told an Edinburgh conference on care in the nursing home sector that he found the government's failure to respond to With Respect to Old Age 'very worrying'.

He obliquely criticised a minority report, produced by commission members Joel Joffe and David Lipsey, a former political editor of The Economist.

'There was only one main dissenter on the commission, and that was the political journalist David Lipsey,' he said. 'He is now Lord Lipsey, so perhaps that indicates where his loyalties lay.'

He was concerned about 'leaks in the papers' that suggested the government might be unwilling to implement the commission's recommendations. Professor Stout argued that the cost of doing this was only just over£1bn a year.