Few appeals on care costs succeed.

    About one in nine appeals for the reimbursement of care costs that
    should have been paid by the NHS have been successful, the
    government has announced.

    Of the 6,713 investigations by strategic health authorities since a
    ruling by the health service ombudsman last February found that
    many people had been wrongly charged for long-term care costs, 770
    have been deemed eligible for compensation.

    A further 5,011 investigations are under way, even though the
    government had set a deadline of April 2004 for all reviews to be
    completed. It blames the delays on a higher than predicted number
    of appeals.

    Community care minister Stephen Ladyman told parliament that
    outstanding cases would be completed by the end of July. He
    estimated the final bill for reimbursement to be more than

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