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how is home help allocated?

The government (and would-be governments are saying that the NHS should be joined up to social services in smooth transitions.  Yet we still have people in need (elderly, post operation cases, hard pushed carers of the infirm) who cannot get access to help in the home.   When I needed help to nurse my husband after a major operation it was arranged before he left hospital and for six weeks I had some assistance each morning with his needs.  Why does this excellent service seem to apply to some people and not others.  My  90 year old sister-in-law was in dire straits, living alone and  virtually immobile.  She could get no help.   We live in Manchester, she in Congleton?  Is it dependent on district?