Death inquiry urges review of funding

An inquiry into the death of an 88-year-old woman soon after she
was moved to a new care home has called for a national independent
review of social care funding.

Violet Townsend died in February less than two weeks after she was
moved from Magdalen House, Gloucester, her home for eight years.
Gloucestershire Council could not afford to increase by £79
the £374.50 weekly fee it was paying to home owner Gloucester

The inquiry team, which was established by the council, concluded
that the funding for residential and nursing care had “not kept
pace with the growth in the market resulting from improved health
care and subsequent changes in demography including longer life

It warned that the council could be “priced out of the market”
unless additional funds were available to pay the fees needed to
attract private capital investment in new homes. It has recommended
that the inquiry findings be submitted to health secretary John

Liberal Democrat older people spokesperson Paul Burstow backed the
calls for the government to commission an independent inquiry. It
was “vital that residents of care homes have the security of
knowing that what they regard as their home cannot be so easily
taken away from them”, he said.

Burstow presented a bill in the House of Commons last week to
establish tenancy rights for care home residents to prevent them
being evicted with less than a month’s notice and to provide
continuity of care when a home is closed.

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