The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has said Britain should adopt the Dutch model of elderly care, with teams of nurses put in charge of communities.
Mr Hancock said the system would offer a ‘wraparound care’ to patients in their own homes, which works out cheaper and better quality than traditional ways of working.
The model devises groups of a dozen nurses take responsibility for home care of around 50 patients in a neighbourhood, instead of GPs being in charge of co-ordinating their care.
The Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care told a conference of GPs that he wanted to see new ways of working with the aims of these schemes being beneficial for patients and reduce increasing pressures on staff.
Mr Hancock said: “We must learn from the best, both nationally and around the world.
“We need to look at places where people have got this shift of resources right and managed to rebalance the system between primary and community care on the one hand and secondary care on the other. Like Buurtzorg in the Netherlands.”
Under the schemes, nurses not only provide medical services, but also dress and bathe patients, so they do not have to see a succession of different types of care staff.
The model means more patients can be kept out of hospital, remain healthy and avoid repeated visits to local doctors.