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Social Services

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the economic modelling used for the Shaping the Future of Care Together consultation. (305697)

The Department is working towards publishing a White Paper on care and support in early 2010. They have been working with the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) to provide the modelling and analysis to underpin our policy development. We were provided with an interim report from PSSRU in November but that report was based on a view of the system when the Green Paper was published. Our core modelling assumptions have changed quite significantly since then as a result of our stakeholder engagement, responses to our consultation and developments such as the Prime Minister’s announcement on free personal care. The report is therefore only part of the story and we have come to the conclusion that to publish it now could be unhelpful to the wider debate on the future of care and support.

PSSRU continue to model the costs and benefits of a new National Care Service based on revised assumptions.

The whole methodology of the interim report was published in July on the PSSRU’s website at:

www.pssru.ac.uk/pdf/dp2644.pdf

The top level costs and benefits are in the impact assessment published with the Green Paper and available on the Big Care Debate website at:

http://careandsupport.direct.gov.uk/greenpaper/the-green-paper-and-supporting-documents/

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent consideration he has given to raising the charges for lower levels of need in order to subsidise free personal care at the critical level. (305740)

Setting charges for social care is a matter for local authorities. Free personal care will be funded by an additional £420 million from central Government and £250 million from local government efficiency savings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 5.14 of the impact assessment for the Personal Care at Home Bill; what assessment he has made of the likely effect on small businesses in the care sector if individuals and local authorities do not use money that would have been spent on personal care for other purchases. (305742)

The impact assessment published alongside the current consultation document, “Personal Care at Home: a consultation on proposals for regulations and guidance”, sets out the current considerations on the impact on small firms. Both documents have already been placed in the Library.

The consultation will close on 23 February 2010 and a response to the document will be published subsequently. We will also be undertaking direct stakeholder engagement alongside the consultation process and this will be considered as part of this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the purposes set out for the Personal Care at Home Bill vary between page two of the impact assessment, paragraph 7.2 of the impact assessment and the human rights section of the relevant explanatory note. (305751)

The different sections of text referred to are intended to detail differing aspects of the Personal Care at Home Bill. Therefore, differing explanations are required to appropriately define each section of the text. There are no inconsistencies between them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the impact assessment for the Personal Care at Home Bill, what recent assessment he has made of the risk of catastrophic costs being incurred. (305976)

Paragraph 5.6 of the impact assessment recognises that the costs of meeting personal care needs will be greater for individuals in higher need and that, if these costs are incurred over an extended period of time, they may sum to a significant and in some cases catastrophic, amount.

It is this risk, which cannot be well insured against in the current market, that the Personal Care at Home Bill is seeking to reduce for individuals in highest need.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he had with Ministerial colleagues in respect of the formulation of his policy on the provision of free personal care at home. (305977)

In formulating policy proposals as part of the Personal Care at Home Bill, there were appropriate ministerial level discussions and clearances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the likely effect of future demographic changes on the provision of free personal care; and if he will make a statement; (306151)

(2) what models his Department has commissioned to assess the future provision of free personal care for those people with the highest needs; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on 7 December 2009, Official Report, column 166W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the geographical distribution of the provision of free personal care; and if he will make a statement. (306152)

I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on 8 December 2009, Official Report, column 294W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how his Department defines eligibility in relation to the provision of free personal care; and if he will make a statement. (306153)

Eligibility in relation to the provision of free personal care is set out in the consultation document, “Personal Care at Home: a consultation on proposals for regulations and guidance” and comments are invited. The consultation will close on 23 February 2010 and will inform the drafting of regulations which will define the scheme.

The consultation document has already been placed in the Library.