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Personal Care Services

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place a note in the Library updating that of January 2004 on the costs of free personal care. (157780)

In England, the Government have accepted each of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on long-term care except the recommendation that personal care should be provided free at the point of delivery to all in all settings. We estimate that the cost of implementing free personal care in England would be around £1.5 billion at 2003-04 prices.

The Personal Social Services Research Unit has recently published ‘Paying for Long-Term Care for Older People in the UK: Modelling the Costs and Distributional Effects of a Range of Options’, which models a range of options for funding long-term care, including making personal care free to all in all settings.

The report gives estimated public expenditure costs at 2002 prices of between £1.35 billion and £1.8 billion, depending on the way in which free personal care is implemented. This covers residential and home care for older people. It covers the whole of the United Kingdom. The England equivalent range would be about £1.2 billion to £1.6 billion. These estimates take account of limited offsetting savings of disability benefits.