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House of Keys Sitting - 23rd January 2007 23 January 2007

Oral Answer 1

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Question NumberSubjectQuestion from
Oral Question 1Nursing Home FeesMr Karran, MHK

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Oral Answer 1

For Oral Answer The Hon Member for Onchan (Mr Karran) to ask the Chief Minister –

  1. Do you endorse the advice given by the former Chief Minister regarding the additional charges in respect of nursing home fees, and
  2. What urgent action do you intend to take to resolve this crisis for this section of the community?

Answer

Mr Speaker,

I do not think it would be appropriate for me to comment on anything which was said by the former Chief Minister. I am however content to update Members as to the action being taken in respect of nursing home fees. Members will recall that the Office of Fair Trading’s report on the investigation into nursing home charges carried out by the OFT under Section 9 of the Fair Trading Act 1996 was laid before the October sitting of Tynwald.

At that sitting the former Chief Minister made a statement that the Council of Ministers had agreed that the Office of Fair Trading should undertake a further and more detailed investigation to include a full accountancy analysis. That work is now underway and it has the following aims:

  1. The report of the investigation shall provide sufficient information for the Council of Ministers to determine whether or not excessive prices appear to have been charged or are being charged in respect of nursing home care
  2. The investigation shall be undertaken in sufficient detail so as to provide the Council of Ministers with sufficient evidence for determining a price reference under Section 19A of the Act hence the need for significant further investigative work
  3. The report shall continue the theme developed in the original report of identifying options for improving value for money in nursing home charges, particularly where other Departments or Boards of Government may be in a position to act.

I expect this report to be complete and submitted to Council by 30 March this year. This will enable Council of Ministers to determine whether or not there may be a need for a Section 19A investigation and subsequent price capping.

In the meantime home operators have assured the Office of Fair Trading that they will not evict any resident who cannot or will not pay the difference between the maximum benefit level and the fees charged.

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