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Conservatives launch long-term care policy

Conservatives have launched a long-term care policy designed to shield the elderly from selling their homes to pay for care bills.

Warning that 250,000 people have sold their properties to finance care bills since Labour came to power in 1997, Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley signalled that an incoming Conservative administration would ensure that anyone who pays the cost of their first three years in a residential home would receive further long-term care free of charge.

He also promised to slash back on the red tape rules and regulations which have been blamed for reducing the number of long-term care places by 80,000 in the past seven years, and added to the costs of those homes remaining in business.

Mr Lansley said: "Labour has failed to address the issue of Britain's long-term care crisis. Since 1997, A quarter of a million people have sold their homes to pay for care bills, and destructive regulation within the sector unnecessarily reduces the number of places available. Under a Conservative Government no one would be forced to sell their home to finance their long-term care. We will also remove unnecessary regulation."

The key points of the policy include:

* People who self-financed the first three years of their long-term care would be guaranteed free long-term care by the Government beyond those three years, regardless of their assets.

* On their first day in office, the Conservatives would instigate a full and extensive review into all long term care regulations, abolishing those considered unnecessary and which do nothing to enhance quality of care.

* Conservatives would boost the vital role played by informal carers by expanding the provision of respite care homes that provide short term cover. This will enable more carers to continue supporting loved-ones at home.

Lansley, Andrew

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