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Care Homes

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether religious orders, or proprietors of unregistered residential care homes of fewer than four beds established prior to 1 April, are required to register within the terms of the Registered Homes (Amendment) Act 1991; and if she will make a statement.

The Registered Homes (Amendment) Act 1991, which came into force on 1 April 1993, removed the exemption from the requirement to register with the local authority previously enjoyed by those running homes with fewer than four residents. This requirement applies to homes operating before 1 April 1993 as well as those opening after that date.Religious communities are not exempt from the provisions of the Act, although registration is not required where all those being cared for have been resident with the person running the home for not less than five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many former in-patients of NHS psychiatric and mental handicap hospitals have been discharged to private commercial nursing homes, pursuant to arrangements made between their respective district health authority and the home's proprietor, where such arrangements include an agreement by the health authority to contribute towards the costs of the residents' treatment and care;

(2) how many residents of private commercial nursing homes registered under the Registered Homes Act 1984, currently receiving income support, were formerly in-patients of NHS psychiatric or mental handicap hospitals and were discharged into such homes by their respective district health authorities or NHS trusts; and how many of such nursing homes' residents are regarded as residing in a hospital or similar institution and receiving their in-patient treatment, pursuant to arrangements made by their local district health authority or NHS trust.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she has taken to assure nursing home residents, their relatives, and nursing home proprietors that claimants refused income support payments as a result of the Court of Appeal's judgment in the case of Percival White v. Chief Adjudicating Officer, or whose payments are discontinued following review, will be regarded as in-patients of the national health service.

On the information so far available, we do not believe that it has significant new implications for the care of people in nursing homes where support is provided from public funds but we will study the transcript of the judgment carefully when it is available.