Deep splits at the heart of Hampshire's health service have been exposed in a confidential report on the authority's future.

It describes a "Berlin Wall" between health and social services which is wasting money and bedspace.

And health managers are accused of being more interested in protecting their own "turf" than solving the problems of providing care.

The report has provoked Winchester MP, Mark Oaten, to call for drastic changes in the way the service is run.

A heavily-edited version of the document was made public at a recent health authority meeting, but the Chronicle has got hold of the full report.

Although the deep rifts are denied by both departments, the report pulls few punches. It attacks the management culture and organisation of the service, but it also calls for the Government to stop underfunding the health authority.

Because the area is seen as affluent, it is only awarded 80% of its needs assessment. Both the panel and MP Mark Oaten want that to stop.

The report also points out that when the Government has promised an increase in health service funding of £20bn, an increase of just 2% in the authority's budget would consign the traditional, annual £10m overspend to history.

To reduce its debt and meet national modernisation targets, the authority has produced a document, Meeting the Challenges.

It was examined by an independent scrutiny panel which vowed not to "rubber stamp" its proposals. Though broadly in favour of its aims, the panel has several areas of concern. The time frame for change, the viability of financial savings plans and the proposal to use £2m "growth money" for paying off debt, all come in for criticism.

But the biggest surprise is its report on the relationship between health and social services. In one of its most damning sections, it accuses them of a "defensive and parochial attitude" toward one another. It said: "No progress will be made without the full co-operation of social services, but there appears to be a lack of willingness to accede to this."

The report outlines how hospital beds for the acutely ill are taken up by social services patients who are only waiting to be assigned long-term care. "Bedblocking" was estimated to be costing the authority £1m a year--a figure denied this week by the county council.

The panel blamed underfunded social services. They saw hold-ups while hospital staff waited for assessments and placement in care homes. And social services worked office hours, not round the clock.

A spokesperson for the Royal Hampshire County Hospital confirmed that over 10% of its beds was taken up by bedblockers at any one time, at costs of up to £300 per bed, per day.

The panel described the situation as "ridiculous" and joined Mr Oaten in calling for the services to be merged.

The report went on: "Some managers we heard from were more interested in protecting their turf than in solving the collective problems of healthcare and social service provision.

"We would like to have heard a far greater commitment to solving the problems in the interests of patients and clients and less about protecting structures, defending boundaries and excusing entrenched working practices.

"Senior managers in healthcare and social services will have to go through a significant conversion if the problems are to be solved."

HCC leader, Ken Thornber, attacked that view, calling it a "grave injustice to the tireless work by staff".

And the report was branded "unfair" by director of social services, Terry Butler, who denied a breakdown in communications, adding that the issues raised were national problems.

Chief executive of the health authority, Gareth Cruddace, also felt that it didn't accurately reflect the working relationship between the two agencies.