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Miliband: Give it all to NHS to save more

Labour Leader Ed Miliband has proposed that councils should stop providing social care for the local population and that "cradle to grave" health and social care should pass to the NHS to make billions of pounds in savings, The independent reports.

At present some patients – many of them elderly – are kept for longer than they should be in expensive hospital beds as councils delay taking responsibility for their care, a problem known as "bed blocking". The Independent says that Labour'smove could open the way for hospital trusts to diversify into social care and provide services more efficiently than at present.

Miliband said: "The NHS will always be a priority for a Labour government, but we must make every pound we spend go further. The changes we propose will save billions of pounds which can be better spent elsewhere."