<p>This is the first of two reports of a two-part study. This volume reports on the cross-sectional survey which was carried out in autumn 1996, some time after implementation of the reforms introduced in 1993 by the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, which had extended local authorities' responsibilities for assessing and funding residents. This part of the study focused on the characteristics of the homes and their residents and on the relationship between costs and dependency. The survey covered 673 homes and 21 local authorities. Information was collected at two levels: <p><p><li>In the homes, data were collected about occupancy, turnover, care policies, and costs.</li><p><p><li>Information on personal characteristics, fees, source of admission and source of funding were collected at individual level from a sample of 11,900 residents, out of a total population in the homes at the time of 20,200. <p><p><p>The companion report, <i>Care Homes for Older People: Volume 2 Admissions, Needs and Outcomes</i> (Bebbington et al., 2001) describes the longitudinal survey of publicy-funded individuals admitted to long-term care
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