<p>There is widespread interest in the impact of the changes introduced in April 1993 in the arrangements for assessing and<p><p>financing elderly people in need of residential-based care, and in the financial consequences of those changes. For example, it would be expected that, with the introduction of compulsory assessment of those entering publicly-funded long-term care in residential and nursing homes, there would be an increase in the level of dependency of residents in homes. Moreover, the changing role of the NHS in the provision of long-term care would also be expected to result in more dependent people being admitted to nursing home care, whether publicly or privately financed. Any increase in dependency could be expected to have an impact on the costs of care. Increases in costs have implications for both providers and purchasers of care. <p><p><p>This report presents the results of a national cross-sectional survey of residential care and nursing homes for elderly people conducted in 21 local authorities in England in the autumn of 1996. This survey was commissioned by the Department of Health as one component of a three-part study designed to investigate a range of issues associated with the current patterns of use of residential and nursing home care for elderly people. The principal aims of the cross-sectional survey were to provide a baseline description of the current population of homes and the features of the establishment they are living in, and to explore the relationship between the costs or price of care and the dependency characteristics of residents
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