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Find out what we're saying  - where we share our thoughts and opinions and make comments on issues facing older people, volunteering and preventative care.

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Westminster Eye: An insight into the week of politics 20 February - 24 February

20 February

At the beginning of the week Paul Maynard MP asked the Departments of Health, Justice and Transport what proportion of their Departments' expenditure was spent on services for the elderly in the latest period for which figures are available. Replies are awaited.

21 February

"That this House expresses concern at the news that the number of pensioners dying from hypothermia has nearly doubled in five years, a period that has coincided with a succession of cold winters as well as drastic rises in energy bills by energy companies; notes that 1,876 patients were treated for hypothermia in 2010-11, up from 950 in 2006-07; further notes that this coincides with an increase in energy costs over the past five years, especially gas, which has increased in price by 40 per cent.; recognises that energy companies' price rises are leaving more and more pensioners in fuel poverty; and calls on the Government to take action to stop energy companies increasing prices to ensure that people are able to properly heat their homes and not be left with the very real threat of serious illness and even death."

Early Day Motion tabled by Greg Mulholland MP
During health oral questions Lorely Burt MP asked what steps the Department of Health is taking to improve the standard of dementia care in hospitals. The Minister of State for Health, Paul Burstow, replied that as many as four out of 10 people in hospital have dementia, and people with dementia stay longer in hospital. He added that Government knows that there is much room for improvement. That is why it has set a new national goal for hospitals actively to identify people with dementia.

Lorely Burt MP asked a follow up over the level of training and development on dementia care in hospitals. He asked what action the Minister is taking to better equip staff to be able to take care of dementia patients in future. In response Paul Burstow said that training is certainly one of the issues highlighted by the audit. The Government is taking a number of steps, including working with the Royal College of Nursing, which has developed an online dementia information resource; working with Skills for Care and Skills for Health to provide a series of training workshops for staff; working with Oxford Deanery to trial a new approach to dementia education and training for GPs; and funding another audit to make sure that Government keeps track of the improvements that it expects to see across the NHS.

Annette Brooke MP appreciated that the Government has allocated additional funding for social care, but asked what more will and can they do in the short term not only to address the current crisis in funding and ensure that funding is used creatively and efficiently locally, but to cater for those with lower-level needs through preventive measures and early intervention. Paul Burstow agreed about the need to invest in early intervention and prevention. In addition to the £7.2 billion that the Government will invest this Parliament, this January it announced an extra £120 million for the remainder of the year to support care services. Furthermore, the Government is funding, jointly with the Local Government Association, work to support councils in delivering improved productivity and sharing best practice to ensure that they deliver improvements to services, and not just cuts.

David Crausby MP asked what recent assessment the Minister has made of the quality of services for older people. In his reply Paul Burstow said that a number of independent audits, investigations and inspections have revealed long standing and unacceptable variations in the standard of care older people receive in the NHS and social care. The Government is determined to root out poor quality care wherever it is found. It has established the National Nursing and Care Quality Forum to work with patients, carers and professionals to spread best practice.

22 February
Shadow Energy Minister Caroline Flint received a reply to her question to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change over how many applications for assistance under the Warm Homes Discount scheme were (a) accepted and (b) rejected in 2011-12. Gregory Barker MP said that the Warm Home Discount scheme requires participating energy suppliers to assist all of those pensioners identified to them by the Secretary of State as eligible for support as part of the Core Group as they receive pension credit guarantee credit only. This year the Government estimates that around 660,000 of the poorest pensioners will be helped in this way. Suppliers are also required to spend a set amount, £153 million this year, on providing assistance to a wider group of low income and vulnerable households beyond the Core Group. This year the Government estimates that around 2 million households will be assisted in total through the scheme. Ofgem will monitor suppliers' spending and ensure they comply with the requirements of the scheme.

On the same day Tracey Crouch MP received a reply to her question to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what representations she has received on the role of the welfare system in reform of social care. Maria Miller MP said that Work and Pensions Ministers have met with their counterparts in the Department of Health to discuss the important role that the social security system plays, and will continue to play in the care and support system for disabled adults and older people, a system which includes social care services provided by local authorities.

24 February
The figures for the delayed transfers from hospital were released for January 2012. There were 4,195 patients delayed on the last Thursday of the month, of which 2,482 were acute patients. This is an overall increase of around 550 patients from last month. There were 112,381 total delayed days during the month, of which 65,054 were acute. 64% of these were attributable to the NHS, 28% were attributable to Social care and 8% where both agencies were responsible.

The Lords is in recess but returns on 27 February.

Westminster Eye: An insight into the week of politics 13 February - 17 February

This week at Westminster was quieter than normal as the Commons was in recess, but there were still some newsworthy items.

13 February
At the beginning of the week Lord Harrison asked the Government what action it is taking to mark the 2012 European Year for Active Aging. A response is awaited.

Caroline Flint MP, Labour's Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary, followed up on her Commons question regarding energy tariff for older people. On responding to reports that the number of pensioners dying from hypothermia has doubled in five years, said: "The energy market has to be made to work better for pensioners and other customers. Complicated tariffs mean too many are overpaying for gas and electricity. That's why Labour has proposed a simple rule for the energy companies - that pensioners over seventy-five be given the lowest tariff on offer, and guaranteed by law if necessary. And to ensure a fair deal for all consumers, we need to open up the energy companies' books so people can see for themselves at what price they buy and sell energy."

14 February
Baroness Bakewell proposed an amendment to the Social Care bill which would lead to the creation of a commissioner for older people.

"The Commissioner be a single, sympathetic individual, able to speak up directly for the old themselves. They would ideally have a background in caring, and be conspicuously on the side of the old, speaking "for us" to those with the power and money to do something to improve the situation for millions of older people."

Baroness Bakewell

15 February
Lord German asked the Government what proportion of the £648 million allocated for local authority spending on social care that also benefits health in 2011-12 was spent on (1) prevention services, (2) communicating equipment and adaptations, (3) telecare, (4) crisis response services, (5) maintaining eligibility criteria, (6) re-ablement, and (7) mental health.

Earl Howe, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health said that the department collected information from primary care trusts in September 2011 to understand how the £648 million transfer was progressing and on which services it was being used. The information suggests that the money is being used on a wide range of services. He added that a full breakdown of this can be found in the National Health Service publication The Quarter: Quarter 2.

The House of Commons is now in recess and returns on 20 February. Health Orals is due to take place on Tuesday 21 February.

Posted by Steve Smith, Public Affairs Officer at 00:00 Friday, 24 February 2012. 0 Comments

Labels: 2012 European Year for Active Aging, Social Care bill, energy tariff for older people, social care

Westminster Eye: An insight into the week of politics 6 February - 10 February

Monday 6 February

David Morris MP received a reply to his question to the Health Minister on what steps he is taking to improve the services offered to patients following discharge from an NHS hospital. Social Care Minister, Paul Burstow, said that no one should be made to stay in hospital longer than necessary. The NHS and social care must work together to ensure people have the support they need on leaving hospital. He added that the new Clinical Commissioning Groups will bring together general practitioners, specialist doctors and nurses to shape the best local care for patients, helping to avoid unnecessary delays. The Government would continue to take significant steps to improve the services offered to patients following discharge from hospital. For example, it had been announced on 3 January 2012, a one-off additional allocation of £150 million to primary care trusts in England, for immediate transfer to local authorities for investment in social care services which also benefit the health system. The aim was to reduce the pressure on health services, and particularly hospitals during the winter period. This new investment will enable local services to discharge patients from hospital more quickly and provide support for people in their own homes. The Department is investing extra cash to help people return to their homes after a spell in hospital—by 2012-13 this will be £300 million per year and will help people to leave hospital more quickly and get settled back at home with the support they need.

Tracey Crouch MP received a reply from Paul Burstow on the representations he had received on the reform of social care. Paul Burstow said that the care and support White Paper and progress report on funding reform, planned for spring 2012, will set out the Government's plans for reforming the care and support system. The Government had launched "Caring for our future" in Autumn 2011. He had worked with leaders from the care and support community, and with expert reference groups, to seek a broad range of views from people who use care and support services, carers, local councils, care providers and the voluntary sector. During the engagement and since it formally ended, Ministers have met with a range of organisations about reform of care and support. The Department is currently reflecting on the findings and will continue to work with stakeholders to develop policy and to help the Government decide the approach to the care and support White Paper and progress report on funding reform.

Tracey Crouch MP had asked a second question relating to the assessment made of the effect of changes in funding for social care on (a) avoidable emergency admissions and (b) NHS costs. Paul Burstow responded by saying that effective partnership working and integration are key enablers in delivering against the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention challenge within the NHS, and supporting improved efficiency within social care. This includes ensuring the people do not stay, in hospital longer than they need to.

He continued that the Department has put in place practical measures to support social care services, in the context of a challenging local government settlement, and to encourage improved joint working between primary care trusts and local authorities. In 2011-12, £648 million has been allocated to PCTs to transfer to councils for spending on social care services that also benefit health. The Department has been clear that PCTs and local authorities will need to work together closely in order to agree appropriate areas of social care investment, taking account of joint priorities identified by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for their local populations. Evidence from a survey of PCTs suggests that this funding is being used both to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital (through crisis response services for example), and to ensure people are able to leave hospital quickly (through intermediate care and re-ablement services for example). A further £150 million (rising to £300 million in 2012-13) has been allocated to PCTs for the development of post-discharge support and re-ablement services. There is local discretion over how this money is to be spent, but in a letter to the service the Department has been clear that:

"This funding is intended specifically to develop current reablement capacity in councils, community health services, the independent and voluntary sectors, with the objective of ensuring rapid recovery from an acute episode and reducing people's dependency on social care services following discharge."

In addition to these funding streams, the Department announced on 3 January 2012 that it was making a further £150 million available to PCTs, to transfer to local authorities for spending on social care. The Department has set out that this funding should be used to target delayed transfers of care which are attributable to social care services. He finished by saying that recently published data shows that the number of patients experiencing delayed discharge from hospital has fallen to its lowest level since this data has been collected. In December 2011, 3,659 patients experienced a delayed transfer of care, a 5.6% fall on the same month last year. This he claimed suggested that additional funding provided by the Government to promote joint working between health, and social care services is having a positive impact in reducing costs to the NHS.

In response to a question from Karen Buck MP on what the change has been in the proportion of gross current social services expenditure on meals and personal social care for people aged over 65 by each local authority in the period from 2001-02 to 2010-11, Paul Burstow said that the information requested is currently being collated and will be placed in the Library as soon as it is available.

In the House of Lords Lord German asked the Government what proportion of the £648 million allocated for local authority spending on social care that also benefits health in 2011-12 was spent on (1) prevention services, (2) communicating equipment and adaptations, (3) telecare, (4) crisis response services, (5) maintaining eligibility criteria, (6) re-ablement, and (7) mental health. A reply is awaited.

Tuesday 7 February

Ann Clwyd MP received a reply from the Minister on when the Department's planned White Paper on adult social care is expected to be published. Paul Burstow acknowledged that urgent reform of the care and support system is needed to provide people with more choice and control and to reduce the insecurity that they and their families face. He added that the Government are taking decisive steps so people can plan and prepare for their care needs, access high quality care when they need it, and exercise choice and control over the care they receive. The care and support White Paper and progress report on funding reform, planned for spring 2012, will set out the Government's plans for transforming the care and support system. It remained the Government’s intention to legislate as soon as possible afterwards.

The previous week Tracey Crouch MP had asked the Communities and Local Government Minister what recent representations he had received on the role of local authorities in the reform of social care. Robert Neill said that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has received no formal representations on the role of local authorities in social care reform. However, the Department for Health carried out an engagement exercise with stakeholders on priorities for reform last autumn and will publish a White Paper on the reform of adult social care in the spring. The Department for Communities and Local Government has been working closely with the Department for Health to understand the impact of social care reform on local authorities and to clarify their role in this area.

Hazel Blears MP had asked the Work and Pensions Minister what recent discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on planned reforms to the funding of social care. In her reply Maria Miller said that Ministers have had a number of discussions with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Health over the last year to discuss the findings of the Dilnot Commission on the funding of social care, and the forthcoming care and support White Paper.

Wednesday 8 February

Caroline Flint MP received a reply to her call to ensure that all people over 75 years old are automatically placed on the cheapest tariff by their gas and electricity supplier. Energy Minister Gregory Barker said that the Warm Home Discount scheme has been introduced to provide targeted support for low income and vulnerable households.The type of support offered and eligibility criteria for the scheme were consulted on and the final scheme has been designed to provide targeted support to those who need it most. This includes specific support for the poorest pensioners. This year alone, over 600,000 pensioners in receipt of pension credit guarantee credit only will receive the £120 core group discount. In total the scheme will assist around two million low income and vulnerable households each year. In addition, all pensioner households already receive the winter fuel payment and are among those eligible for the cold weather payment.

Dr Thérèse Coffey asked the Cabinet Office how many pensioners were employed in 2009-10 and in 2010-11. In his reply Mr Hurd said that the numbers were approximately 1.4 million for each year.

The House of Commons Health Committee published its report in social care and called for the government to press ahead with the £1bn long-term care funding reforms proposed by the Dilnot Commission. The committee also claimed cuts in support are driving increased demands on the NHS as they called for an overhaul of the way the system is run. In its report the cross-party group of MP recommended that elderly care, health and housing services are joined up to stop patients being "passed like a parcel" from one service to another. The MPs suggested that failure to link up commissioning and provision across the services leads to more hospital admissions, later discharge and poorer outcomes.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said that over one million pensioners who may be entitled to Pension Credit should check if they are missing out on extra cash. Up to £2.93 billion of Pension Credit goes unclaimed every year and as many as 1.6 million people could be entitled to this money. He added that if average temperatures are recorded as or forecast to be zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days, then people who get Pension Credit are automatically entitled to a Cold Weather Payment. The Government had made over three million Cold Weather Payments so far this winter.

Dr Huppert asked the Secretary of State for Health how much funding was provided for medical research into dementia in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; and what proportion of the health research budget this represented in each year. Simon Burns responded by stressing that dementia is a research priority for the Government. Through the National Institute for Health Research and the Policy Research Programme, the Department funds a wide range of research on dementia including research on causes, diagnosis, treatment, and organisation and delivery of health and social care services. The proportion of the Department's central research and development revenue budgets spent on dementia research in 2008-09 was £18.4m (2.2%), in 2009-10 £12.7m (1.4%) and in 2010-11 £18.6m (1.9%).

Questions tabled for answer at Health Orals on 22 February included one from Lorely Burt MP who asked what steps the Department of Health is taking to improve the standard of dementia care in hospitals. In addition David Crausby MP asked what recent assessment has been made of the quality of services for older people.

The House of Commons is now in recess and returns on 20 February.

Posted by Steve Smith, Public Affairs Officer at 16:00 Monday, 20 February 2012. 0 Comments

Labels: Cold weather payment

Westminster Eye: An insight into the week of politics 30 January - 3 February

Monday 30 January

On Monday Chris Skidmore MP received an answer to his question to the Department of Health on what proportion of finished admission episodes the patient was over (a) 65, (b) 80 and (c) 90 years in each of the last five years. A finished admission episode (FAE) is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. In reply Paul Burstow published a table which showed that FAEs amongst the over 65 age group was 34%, for the over 80 year age group 13% and for the over 90 year age group 2%. The situation in percentage terms had remained fairly static over recent years.

Caroline Dinenage MP had asked what information the Department of Health has received from primary care trusts on plans for spending the 2011-12 NHS social care allocation; which services the money has been allocated to; and what proportion of the money is expected to be spent on older people. She also asked what estimate the Department has made of the difference between the number of people eligible for social care support in England and those receiving formal support from public or private sector agencies.

In his reply Paul Burstow said that his Department collected information from primary care trusts in September 2011 to understand how the transfer was progressing and on which services it was being used. The information suggests that the money is being used on a wide range of services. He said that a full breakdown of this can be found in the NHS publication The Quarter which has been placed in the Library. The Department did not collect information on what proportion of the money is being spent on older people. In response to the second question Paul Burstow said that the Department of Health has not made estimates of the difference between the number of people eligible for social care support in England and those receiving formal support from public or private sector agencies. He acknowledged that unmet need is difficult to precisely define and measure. The eligibility framework issued by the Department seeks to support councils in prioritising funding on those with the highest need. The Government is clear that everyone who thinks they may be in need of care and support is entitled to an assessment, and if this assessment concludes that services are required to meet the person's assessed needs and the person qualifies under the means-test, services must be provided.

Also on Monday Caroline Flint MP asked the Minister for Energy and Climate Change if he will make it his policy to ensure that all people over 75 years old are automatically placed on the cheapest tariff by their gas and electricity supplier. Tracey Crouch MP what recent representations the Department of Health had received on the reform of social care and also what assessment they had made of the effect of changes in funding for social care on (a) avoidable emergency admissions and (b) NHS costs.

On the same day Jim Shannon MP asked what guidelines the Health Minister had issued to care homes on the prevention, treatment and care of fractures resulting from falls by people with osteoporosis.

In his response Paul Burstow said that the Department of Health provides guidelines through the Department's falls and bone health commissioning toolkit. In addition, the National Hip Fracture Database, which audits the care of hip fracture patients, and the Royal College of Physicians' Falls and Bone health audit also apply to all care settings including care homes.

Last week Paul Maynard MP asked what proportion of gross national income is spent on services for the elderly. In answering Mark Hoban said that many public services are shared across groups, for example expenditure on roads. It is therefore not possible to provide a clear split between the proportion of national income spent on any particular age group. However, the Office for National Statistics publishes an allocation of some public services to households in The Effect of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income, 2009-10. This includes an analysis of certain benefits in kind for non-retired and retired households for expenditure in 2009-10.

Thursday 2 February

Tim Farron MP received a reply to his question on what assessment had been made of the effect of the social care system on the financial sustainability of the NHS and what assessment had been made of the prospects for using increased resources for social care to reduce avoidable emergency admissions and NHS costs. Paul Burstow replied saying that effective partnership working and integration are key enablers in delivering against the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention challenge within the NHS, and supporting improved efficiency within social care. This includes ensuring that people do not stay in hospital longer than they need to.

He went on to say that the Department has put in place practical measures to support social care services, in the context of a challenging local government settlement, and to encourage improved joint working between primary care trusts (PCTs) and local authorities. In 2011-12, £648 million has been allocated to PCTs to transfer to councils for spending on social care services that also benefit health. The Department has been clear that PCTs and local authorities will need to work together closely in order to agree appropriate areas of social care investment, taking account of joint priorities identified by the joint strategic needs assessment for their local populations. Evidence from a survey of PCTs suggests that this funding is being used both to prevent unnecessary admissions to hospital (through crisis response services for example); and to ensure people are able to leave hospital quickly (through intermediate care and re-ablement services for example).

A further £150 million (rising to £300 million in 2012-13) has been allocated to PCTs for the development of post-discharge support and re-ablement services. There is local discretion over how this money is to be spent, but in a letter to the service the Department has been clear that:

"This funding is intended specifically to develop current reablement capacity in councils, community health services, the independent and voluntary sectors, with the objective of ensuring rapid recovery from an acute episode and reducing people's dependency on social care services following discharge".

Finally in addition to these funding streams, the Department announced on 3 January 2012 that it was making a further £150 million available to PCTs, to transfer to local authorities for spending on social care. The Department has set out that this funding should be used to target delayed transfers of care which are attributable to social care services.

David Morris MP asked the Health Minister what steps he is taking to improve the services offered to patients following discharge from an NHS hospital. A reply is awaited.

Mike Weatherley MP received a reply from Minister Paul Burstow on whether he plans to produce a national standard for care homes on the prevention, treatment and care of fractures resulting from osteoporosis and falls. The Minister said that the Health and Social Care Bill makes provision for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce Quality Standards that relate to social care, which would potentially include care homes. The added that the Government’s engagement exercise - Caring for Our Future: Shared ambitions for care and support - sought to understand people's priorities for reform to help inform the approach to be set out in the forthcoming White Paper on adult social care. Responses to the engagement in relation to quality welcomed planned work to extend NICE Quality Standards to social care, and highlighted the potential role clinical audit practice might play in driving up quality in the sector. The Government are now considering these proposals before they set out their plans in their White Paper on care and support.

Tim Farron also asked the Chancellor what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Health, (b) Communities and Local Government and (c) Work and Pensions on the potential for reform of the funding of social care to result in savings to the public purse across Government. Minister Danny Alexander said that Treasury Ministers have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a range of issues. On the funding of social care, the Government welcomed the work of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support chaired by Andrew Dilnot, and committed to consider the recommendations carefully. He added that the Government has been engaging with the care sector to develop and refine their priorities and plans for action, bearing in mind the financial context. They will publish a White Paper on wider social care issues including a progress report on funding reform in the spring.

Hazel Blears MP received number of responses to her series of questions to the Departments of Health and Work and Pensions on what discussions they had held with other Departments on planned reforms to the funding of social care the uses of funding allocated to social services. In responding Paul Burstow said that the coalition agreement set out the Government's clear commitment to reforming the system of social care to provide much more control to individuals and their carers, and to ease the cost burden that they and their families face. This commitment to reform is why the Government acted quickly to set up the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, which published its report in July 2011.

When the commission published its report, Government set out a clear timetable for assessing the impacts of the commission's recommendations, making the necessary trade-offs with other priorities for social care reform, and deciding on the best way forward. The Government has said that it is working towards a White Paper on social care and a progress report on funding reform in spring 2012. The Government remains committed to that timetable.

The commission's report has formed the basis of Government's recent engagement with stakeholders. This engagement exercise examined the impact of these recommendations, and brought them together with other priorities for reform from across the social care system to look at the trade-offs between them.

In addition to the Government’s work with social care stakeholders, the Department is looking in detail at the impact of the commission's recommendations. A full assessment of the recommendations will be included in the progress report, which will be published in the spring. The contents of that report cannot be pre-judged now by commenting in detail on the impact of the recommendations.

On the specific question of the assessment of the use of funding allocated by the Department of Health to social services, Paul Burstow said that local authorities are responsible for decisions on spending on adult social care. He continued that at a national level, the NHS information Centre collects detailed information on Personal Social Services (PSS) expenditure. The spending review outlined an additional £1 billion per annum by 2014-15 to be allocated within the NHS to be spent on measures that support social care. The Department collected information from primary care trusts in September 2011 to understand how the transfer of NHS money was progressing and on which services it was being used. The information suggests that the money is being used on a wide range of services.

Hazel Blears MP had also asked the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of funding for adults no longer able to fund their own social care in each of the last five years. Paul Burstow replied that in the current social care system, people who can afford to pay are required to fund their own social care out of their income and assets. In some cases, people need long-term social care, and some of them will, over time, use up their assets to the point that they qualify for state support to fund their own care. At this point, the local authority will provide them with support to pay for care. The Government do not centrally hold information on how many people spend down their assets and are subsequently supported by the state, nor do we know the total cost of supporting these people.

Hilary Benn MP had asked a series of older people related questions. He asked what estimate had been made of expenditure by each local authority (a) overall and (b) per head of population on social care in each of the last 10 years. In his reply Paul Burstow said that data on local authority expenditure on social care are collected and published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Data on local authority expenditure on for 2001-02 to 2010-11 are provided in the tables which have been placed in the Commons Library. Final data for 2010-11 will be published in March 2012.

He also asked questions relating to the spending on Meals on Wheels by each local authority (a) overall and (b) per head of population on Meals on Wheels for pensioners in each of the last 10 years and what the average charge was for Meals on Wheels services in each local authority area in each of the last 10 years. Paul Burstow said that information on the average charge for Meals on Wheels services is not collected centrally. He added that data on local authority expenditure on social care is collected and published by the NHS Information Centre via the National Adult Social Care Intelligence Service online analytical processing tool.  Data, provided by the Information Centre, on local authority expenditure on meals for older people - aged 65 or over - for the years 2001-02 to 2010-11, has been placed in the Commons Library.

Tracey Crouch MP asked the both the Communities and Local Government and Welfare and Pensions Ministers what recent representations they had received on the role of local authorities and the welfare system in reform of social care. A reply is expected early next week.

Ann Clwyd MP asked the Health Minister when he expects to publish his Department's planned White Paper on adult social care.

Next week (8 February) the Health Committee publishes its report into its inquiry into social care.

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