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Elderly Care Beds

Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 12th May 2009.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2:30 pm, 12th May 2009

What the role of primary care trusts is in the allocation of beds for care of the elderly.

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Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Minister of State (Care Services; Minister for the East Midlands), Department of Health

Primary care trusts work with local authority partners to commission high-quality care services from appropriate providers to meet local patient needs, with a clear focus on improving health outcomes for the population, including older people. It is the responsibility of each provider—be it the hospital, the residential facility or another provider—to determine the level of service provision, such as bed numbers, to meet expected demand and to provide high-quality care.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I put it to the Minister that it is entirely wrong that primary care trusts that are not clinically qualified should deprive dying patients of beds. I hope that he will remove them from the picture and allow a decision to be taken by clinically qualified practitioners.

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Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Minister of State (Care Services; Minister for the East Midlands), Department of Health

I understand the importance of the issue to the hon. Lady, but it is vital that we have an appropriate process for commissioning high-quality services locally. It is the responsibility of primary care trusts to undertake that function and, in the case of the care of elderly people, to do so, through beds in hospitals, beds in residential care and so on, in partnership with their local authorities. It is their responsibility to ensure that we have high-quality services from those appropriate providers. It is also a responsibility—this is subject to inspections and so on by the Care Quality Commission—to ensure that the relevant provider provides that high-quality care in a way that meets elderly people's needs.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Owing to that entirely inadequate response, Mr. Speaker, I move for an Adjournment debate to be held on that question.

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