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Neighbourhood Hospitals

Volume 202: debated on Friday 24 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer on 20 January, Official Report, column 76, what guidance he has issued to Welsh health authorities contemplating the development of neighbourhood hospitals concerning the incorporation of national health service nursing homes; how residents and patients of such nursing homes are to be funded; and if he will make a statement.

The "Caring for People" White Paper (Cm. 849) makes it clear that health authorities will need to ensure that their plans allow for the provision of continuing residential health care for highly dependent people who need it. Whether this requires an increase or reduction in the level of continuous health care provided under the national health service will depend very much on local circumstances. Our subsequent guidance on the development of joint plans for social and community care by health and social services authorities and others confirms that they should agree the level and form of continuous care which will be secured for their local population. Any such care provided under the national health service, whether contracted by a health authority from an national health service facility or from a private or voluntary sector provider, will be free of charge to the patient.