Minister pledges action on reviews

    Community care minister Stephen Ladyman has said he is embarrassed
    by the time it has taken to identify the number of people who have
    been wrongly charged for personal care.

    Giving evidence to the health select committee’s inquiry into
    palliative care last week, Ladyman said he had asked the Department
    of Health to investigate why the 31 March deadline for strategic
    health authorities to review cases had been missed.

    In an exclusive interview with Community Care, Ladyman
    pledged to complete the reviews before parliament’s recess on 22
    July. He also said the compensation bill was likely to be close to
    the Department of Health’s predicted figure of £300m.

    He said the reason for the delays was that more people had come
    forward asking to be assessed than had been expected.

    The reimbursement was prompted after the health service ombudsman
    ruled last year that the NHS should pay for continuing care for
    people suffering from certain conditions. It is believed hundreds
    were denied free care between 1996 and 2002.

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