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Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to provide additional financial support towards care costs of sufferers of dementia. [109339]

The Government are committed to improving standards of health and social care and people with dementia will benefit from the new investment that is being made available to support this commitment.For example this financial year the Government have made £584 million available to fund care home residents' nursing care costs. Anyone in a care home providing nursing care will have benefited from this including people with dementia. Recently issued guidance emphasises that nurses, in determining residents' needs for nursing care, should be particularly mindful of the needs of people with dementia.£100 million has been awarded in 2003–04 under the Carers Grant to local councils to provide short-term breaks for carers to enable them to continue their caring role: carers of people with dementia will benefit from this grant. The Carers Grant has been extended to 2006 during which time it will more than double to £185 million to provide extended care and 130,000 further breaks for carers.There have been substantial increases in the level of funding provided for social services in recent years. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health announced on 17 April 2002 our intention to increase resources to social services by an annual average of 6 per cent, in real terms from 2003–04 to 2005–06. In addition the very significant increases in national health service funding will help provide new and better health services for people with dementia.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether persons suffering from dementia are tagged in (a) NHS hospitals and (b) nursing homes; and if he will make a statement. [111478]

The routine use of electronic tagging is not acceptable but it may be justified on an individual basis. It is very rare for people with dementia to be tagged.