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News - 6 January 2012

£150m home care boost for elderly patients

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has allocated an extra £150m for patients to get care at home after warnings that local authority cuts were creating a "crisis" in social care.

This follows on from the charity Age UK warning last week that cuts could leave older people with "absolutely no support at all".

Another £20m will also be directed to the disabled facilities grant to help people live independently at home.

The government has already set aside £648m for primary care trusts to support social care services in 2011-12.

David Rogers, Chair of The Local Government Association's community wellbeing board welcomed the extra money which he said was recognition that the current system was under-funded.

Shadow health minister Liz Kendall has called recent increases in home care charges for older and disabled people "a stealth tax on the most vulnerable in society".

"Their brutal cuts to funding for local council services are pushing up charges and placing an even greater burden on the people who most need help."

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