The Personal Care at Home Bill was debated in the House of Lords recently. The next stage of the Bill will be in the House of Lords during March 2010.
It is anticipated that, subject to the passage of the Bill and the introduction of regulations, free personal care at home for those with the highest needs would be introduced from 1 October 2010. In the first half year, £210m will be made available from central resources and the remainder of the funding – £125m – will be found from local government efficiency savings. £670m will be available in the first full year of operation, made up of £420m central funding and £250m in local government efficiency savings.
Definitions of ‘personal care’, ‘activities of daily living’, ‘reablement’ etc are being considered within regulations/guidance. Further detailed arrangements would have to be set out at a local level. An individual refusal to take up the offer of a reablement programme could affect the provision of free personal care.
It is envisaged that the overall funding of free personal care at home will be achieved through an additional amount from the Department of Health (£420m) and local authority efficiency savings (£250m) in the first full year.