§ Mr Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the closure of care homes. 122W
§ Jacqui Smith
Department figures show that between 1997 and 2001, the most recent figures available, the number of care homes in England reduced by only 640 or two per cent. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State announced, on 23 July, an extra £1 billion for social services by 2006. Some of this money can be used to boost capacity in the care home sector.