National Health Plan - Long Term Care: Nearly 35,000 Elderly Will Get Free Nursing Care
Norton, Cherry, The Independent (London, England)
TENS OF thousands of pensioners will be "bitterly disappointed" by the Government's plans to make them continue to pay for basic personal care, such as help with bathing and eating, charities said yesterday.
A pounds 1.3bn government plan to reform the long-term care system under the NHS plan would give 35,000 old people free nursing care. At present, medical care is means tested and costs an average of pounds 337 a week.
However, charities that support the elderly said the Government had failed up to 125,000 old people living in care homes, especially those with long-term conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or arthritis, who would have to continue to pay for their social and personal care.
Harry Cayton, the chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said that the measures would make things worse for thousands of pensioners living in nursing or residential care homes. "We are extremely disappointed that the Government's narrow definition of nursing care will do nothing to end the current discrimination against people in care homes who will still have to pay for their own care," he said.
The new plan calls for personal and nursing care to be free for the first three months, after which residents would have their needs assessed by nursing staff to determine whether they were medical or personal. …