HC Deb 25 March 2003 vol 402 c204W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the recent report by the Ombudsman on the funding of nursing care for the elderly. [104317]

Jacqui Smith

The Government has welcomed the Health Service Ombudsman's report, "NHS funding for Long Term Care", published on 20 February. We have since asked strategic health authorities to report back to their Directorate of Health and Social Care (DHSC) by 28 March, with details ofWhether continuing care criteria in use since 1996 were consistent with the Coughlan Judgment. If criteria were not consistent with the Coughlan judgment, when was this identified and what action was taken. An estimate of the number of people who may have been wrongly assessed under criteria not consistent with the Coughlan judgment.

We have announced our intention to amend the regulations to be made under the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Bill, to ensure that assessments for fully funded continuing National Health Service health care are carried out before discharge from hospital. This will ensure that nobody is issued with a clause 2 notice (notice from the NHS to say that a patient requires social services on discharge from hospital) before an assessment for continuing NHS health care, informed by the single assessment process, has been carried out.

We have written to the Commission for Health Improvement and asked that continuing care is included within the inspection of the national service framework for older people, due to begin in 2004.