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Homes For The Elderly

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health, further to his answer of 31 January, Official Report, column 231, (1) if he will give his reasons for deciding that local authorities will have to contribute more to the support of people in homes under their own management than to that of people in private homes;(2) what are the reasons why Government contributions to support people living in homes for the elderly are not to be calculated on the same basis, irrespective of whether the home is publicly or privately run.

[holding answers 9 February and 12 February 1990]: As the White Paper "Caring for People" makes clear, the Government recognise that local authorities will need adequate resources to enable them to discharge their new responsibilities from April 1991 including meeting the care costs of people in private and voluntary residential care and nursing homes. We shall therefore transfer to local authorities the resources which would otherwise have been used to finance care through social security payments to people in residential and nursing homes. The arrangements for paying social security benefits to people in local authority-managed homes will not change.We want to ensure that local authorities encourage a mixed economy of care and make full use of the independent sector when placing people in residential settings. This will provide residents with a wider choice of accommodation and enable more rational use to be made of public resources.