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Nursing and Residential Homes

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:59 am on 3rd April 2001.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 10:59 am, 3rd April 2001

My hon. Friend's expertise in the matter is greater than mine because of his professional experience on Mr. Burstow also takes a great interest in the subject, but, sadly, cannot be here today.

There is a conflict of interest in that local authorities must protect their budgets and they want their money to go as far as possible. If they withdraw a contract, they may be unable to place people elsewhere locally. In constituencies such as mine there are very few beds and a great demand for care to be provided locally. That is the case in every community because people prefer their relatives to be cared for in areas that are easily accessible and, if they have no private transport, they need to be able to reach them on foot or by public transport at a small cost. They do not want to have to go out of London or to the south coast where, traditionally, there are more residential nursing homes.