BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
MPs complain over nursing care
Free nursing care was introduced last year
The government is coming under growing pressure to stop nursing homes from taking advantage of its 'free' care initiative.

Figures released by the Department of Health show one in three MPs have written to ministers urging them to act.

Last October, the government introduced payments to help fund the cost of providing nursing care to individual patients in care homes in England - the Registered Nursing Contribution.


When more than one in three of all MPs write to a minister on a specific issue then there is something seriously wrong

Paul Burstow MP
Some homes responded by raising their fees so that patients ended up paying the same amount as before.

The Liberal Democrats said the extent of MPs communication with ministers over the issue showed there was a real problem.

Seriously wrong

Its spokesman on older people Paul Burstow said: "These figures are just the tip of an iceberg.

"Families with loved ones in care homes simply do not know where to turn and only come to their MP as a last resort."

He added: "When more than one in three of all MPs write to a minister on a specific issue then there is something seriously wrong with the policy."

Ministers introduced new rules in March aimed at stopping care homes from increasing fees unfairly.

Homes are now required to publish a breakdown of their fees and to explain how the NHS contribution is spent.

But Mr Burstow said: "Implementation of free nursing care has been badly botched.

"It is time the whole scheme was put under the microscope and subject to a full investigation."

In a written reply to the Lib Dem MP, Ms Smith said: "I have received correspondence on this subject from many people who are distressed about the way that nursing home owners are taking account of the Registered Nursing Contribution (RNC) when revising their fee levels.

"I have written to some national providers of care homes about this and shall be meeting them shortly to discuss this matter further."

The government's changes to long term care funding start on Monday

Key news stories

Background material
See also:

11 Mar 02 | Health
28 Jan 02 | Health
30 Sep 01 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes