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Personal Care at Home

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

The Department has today published the consultation document—“Personal Care at Home: a consultation on proposals for regulations and guidance”.

The Personal Care at Home Bill, published today, contains new proposals costing £670 million, which are the Government’s first step towards setting up a new National Care Service—a simple, fair and affordable care system for everyone.

Subject to parliamentary approval, from next October, older people and younger disabled people will be better helped to live independently for longer in their own homes—something they tell us they really want.

The Bill guarantees free personal care for the 280,000 people—including those with serious dementia or Parkinson’s disease—with the highest needs. Some of those already get free care—this Bill will protect their savings from future charges. Others will get free care for the first time. We will also help around 130,000 people who need home care for the first time to regain their independence.

This intensive help or “re-ablement” will help people to regain their independence and prevent ill health. This means people will maintain their dignity and rebuild their confidence so that they can live at home for longer. Helping people to stay in their own homes could involve adapting their homes.

New equipment installed in people’s homes to help them stay there could include electronic pill dispensers or movement activated alarms using the voice of a grandchild to remind an elderly person to close the door, for example. Helping people to stay in their own homes and adjust their living conditions so they can stay safely, puts prevention at the heart of the system.

The consultation covers three main areas:

what should be contained in the regulations made under the Bill;

what should be contained in the guidance accompanying the regulations; and

suggests three ways of allocating funding to councils.

The consultation document has been placed in the Library and copies are available for hon. Members from the Vote Office.