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Monday, 5 November, 2001, 17:28 GMT
'Free nursing home care' for Wales
nursing home
The move will affect around 2,400 people in Wales
Over 2,000 people who pay to stay in nursing homes in Wales are to receive help from the Welsh Assembly worth 100 a week.

In Wales, around 75% of nursing home residents already receive their care for free because they have no savings.

The model we are adopting for free nursing care is unique to Wales

Jane Hutt, Welsh Health Minister
But 2,400 residents who have money, or homes to sell, are expected to pay at least 300 a week.

From 3 December they will still have to pay for bed and board, but the Welsh Assembly will contribute 100 towards their nursing care.

The announcement was made by Health Minister Jane Hutt during a visit to a nursing home in Cardiff on Monday.

'Better off'

As a result, Ms Hutt said residents in Wales would be better off than their counterparts in England, where a sliding scale of payments has been introduced.

The move follows controversy over the Scottish Executive's policy of providing free personal care to all elderly people living in nursing homes - a policy which is still being examined by the Welsh Assembly.

Health Minister Jane Hutt
Health Minister Jane Hutt

Ms Hutt said the money would bring "much-needed reform".

"We have consulted very widely on this new arrangement and I believe the outcome of that process is a very good deal for nursing home residents in Wales," she said.

"The model we are adopting for free nursing care is unique to Wales.


"The consultation clearly showed strong support for this model rather than the banding system introduced in England."

Funding will be set at a level of 100 a week per individual self-funder who is assessed as requiring nursing care.

An additional 1m will be used to support the introduction of the new arrangements.

The policy will be applied to local authority funded clients and residents on income support in 2003.

The timing is in line with England but will not disadvantage residents as their care is funded from the public purse already.

See also:

30 Sep 01 | Health
'Free care' plans attacked
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