Kent told older people cannot be placed abroad

The department of health has warned Kent council it does not
have the power to place people in nursing homes in Europe,
writes Sally Gillen.

The council is considering buying nursing home beds in France,
Spain and Belgium because it cannot afford UK fees. But under the
National Assistance Act of 1948 local authorities do not have the
power to place people in residential care outside England and

A doh spokesperson said: “Local authorities do not have the
powers to place people in residential care abroad. In England and
Wales, older people should be given the option to choose where they
want to stay, and where their health, well being and independence
can be best maintained. This usually means placing them in a home
as close as possible to the community of which they are a

But Oliver Mills, director of operations at Kent social services
department, said: “We want to reassure people that we are only
exploring the idea and we will continue to do so. We have a crisis
and are being forced to do this.”

Paul Burstow, Liberal Democrat shadow minister for older people,
described the move as “another symptom of the strains being placed
on the care sector”.

“The government is failing to address the severe problems that
are facing residential and nursing homes, particularly in London
and the south-east.”





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