§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action the Government is taking to ensure elderly people are being given the free care to which they are entitled; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Jacqui Smith
The Department issued guidance on continuing care in June 2001 and this included information on the agreement of eligibility criteria for National Health Service continuing care criteria. Strategic health authorities are currently ensuring that a single set of valid criteria applies across their areas and that everyone is assessed against these.
Since 1 October 2001, the NHS has also been responsible for funding the nursing care of self funding residents of care homes providing nursing care.