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Care Homes

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the transition of nursing care costs in care homes from local councils to the NHS in St. Helens. [110005]

We have taken measures to deliver all nursing care through the national health service, because this will be free at the point of use, and to remove the previous overlap whereby both the NHS and councils could provide nursing care. To effect this change, it has been necessary to extract from councils the funds spent on nursing care by local government, and to pass them to the NHS for re-allocation to primary care trusts.A survey of PCTs was carried out in December 2002 to establish the number of self-funders and the number of residents in care homes providing nursing care. Included within the survey was a request for information on the number of local authority supported residents for whom a Registered Nursing Care Contribution determination had been completed. This information has informed the allocation of funding to PCTs for 2003–04.St. Helens PCT declared 587 care home beds in its survey return, and has been allocated £2,632 million for NHS funded nursing care in 2003–04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 7 April 2003, Official Report, column 96W, on care homes, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the package announced on 11 March in ensuring care home providers passed on the free nursing care contribution. [110251]

The way that care homes take account of national health service funding when setting fees is a matter for them. The announcement on 11 March last year was about strengthening and safeguarding the rights of residents of care homes providing nursing care and ensuring that they have accurate information about the costs of providing that care. Following consultation on draft regulations earlier this year, we will shortly be bringing forward an amendment to the Care Homes Regulations that will ensure that residents get access to such information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether a person placed in a care home found on a first assessment not to be eligible for continuing care will be reassessed periodically. [112355]

Guidance issued under cover of Local Authority Circular LAC(2002)13, that took effect from 7 April 2003, requires councils to review and re-assess the needs and circumstances of all care home residents admitted under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 on a routine basis. The guidance suggests that first reviews should be completed within three months of admission and thereafter reviews should be conducted at least annually. If a review indicated the possible need for substantial health services, then a comprehensive assessment, informed by the single assessment process, should be completed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of care homes are (a) privately owned and run, (b) publicly owned and privately run and (c) publicly owned and run. [112696]

The information requested is not centrally available. At 31 March 2001 the latest date for which information is available, 93 per cent, of care homes were registered as being in the independent sector, the remaining 7 per cent, were local authority establishments.