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NHS PLAN WILL INCLUDE FREE LONG-TERM CARE

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The government will introduce free nursing for the elderly and others who need long-term care under its plans for t...
The government will introduce free nursing for the elderly and others who need long-term care under its plans for the National Health Service.

The Financial Times (p4) reports that the move will stop short of the majority recommendation from last year's commission on long-term care that all long-term care - which includes bathing, washing and feeding - should be free.

But the package, to be announced shortly, is expected to cost broadly the same as the initial£1.3bn a year rise in expenditure that the Royal Commission recommended.

It will include an assurance of free intermediate care for individuals discharged from hospital for rehabilitation or put into a nursing home or similar facility in order to avoid unnecessary hospitalisation.

The value of patients' propertty will not be taken into account for the first three months of long-term care in a nursing or residential home - providing them with the chance to return home if their condition improves.

People will be offered the choice of councils taking a charge over their property and recovering the cost of care from their estate, or selling their home.

The means-tests applied to long-term care will be eased slightly to allow people to keep more of their savings and still receive free care.

National guidance will tackle the variation in charges for social care around the country - ensuring that people not being cared for at home do not live on less than the level of income support.

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