Local authorities are, for the first time, to be issued with
government guidance over home care charging in a bid to establish
consistency across the country.
Health minister John Hutton is to meet social services
directors, user groups and residential and nursing home
organisations next month to help map the way forward on the
charging issue with outline proposals to be included in the white
paper on long-term care due this summer.
Speaking after the second reading of the Care Standards Bill in
the House of Commons last week, Hutton said the government had
heeded the Audit Commission's call for consistency across
"The charging methods of some councils are simply unacceptable
with huge variations from area to area," said Hutton.
He added: " Charging policies need to be consistent with that
Opening the debate in the House, health secretary Alan Milburn
told MPs that local councils would have to pay heed to the guidance
in order to end the "lottery in care".