§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of differences in fee levels for care home places in different parts of the country. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
Independent data published in July 2003 found that the number of care home places available nationally exceeded demand by 10,000. Where there are local capacity issues to be addressed, it is for local councils to assess the need for care home places in their areas in the light of local circumstances and preferences and to commission services to meet assessed needs. They should act in consultation with people needing services and local providers.