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Home Care Services

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much he expects his Department’s proposals to give 350,000 people free personal home care to cost per year; from which budgets he expects the money to be drawn; how much is to be drawn from each budget; and what consequential reductions he expects to be made in other programmes funded from such budgets; (292399)

(2) what methodology he has used to define highest need in his proposals to give 350,000 people with the highest needs free personal home care; how he has calculated that there are 350,000 people in need of this level of care; what estimate he has made of the average amount to be spent on each person per week under the proposals; how many hours of care each will receive on average per week; and whether he has included in the 350,000 anyone who presently receives any proportion of their home care free of charge.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has announced that the funding for the first full year would be £670 million. We will be working with stakeholders over the coming months and further clarity on the scope of the proposals will be published in due course. The money for this policy will be met from reprioritised central budgets and we will be working with stakeholders to make sure other services are not affected. We will need to ensure legislation is brought into force to define what high needs will be covered by this announcement in time for its commencement in October 2010.