The government has shunted £50m earmarked by Labour to finance personal care at home to increase access to cancer drugs.
The money, which will be available from October until the end of the financial year in April, had been set aside by the previous government to fund the provisions of the Personal Care at Home Act 2010.
On coming to power, the coalition announced it would not implement the legislation’s provision for free personal care at home for people with high needs, without specifying how the money saved would be used.
The Department of Health’s decision provoked disappointment from Carers UK. It said the money allocated to implement the act should be set aside to fund increased services for carers, in line with a Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge.
A DH spokesperson said: “This funding [for cancer drugs] has been found from the government’s decision not to commence the provisions in the Personal Care at Home Act.
“Instead, the new government has established a new commission to make recommendations on how to achieve an affordable and sustainable funding system for care and support, for all adults in England, both in the home and other settings.
“The coalition document was clear this would be done and we are confident that this independent review is the best way to find a comprehensive settlement on funding of care.”
The coalition has said it would look at how the other element of the Personal Care at Home Act – funding increased access to reablement services – could be implemented, though no details have been provided on this.
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