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Industry has vital role to play in long term care market


Royal Commission on long-term care chairman Sir Stewart Sutherland has told the insurance industry it has a vital role to play in ltc provision


But he warned the Government that its failure to provide a clear direction could undermine the private sector.


It came as health minister John Hutton promised a thorough Government review of the ltc.


Sutherland&#39s words mark a substantial shift in position. He has previously been highly sceptical about whether insures should have any significant role in ltc provision.


Sutherland spoke while sharing a platform with Hutton, at a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth.


The industry says implementation of the his report, which called for the state to fund nursing care with accommodation provided on a means tested basis, would allow ltc premiums to fall by up to 50 per cent.


Sutherland said: &#34We see a big role for private involvement. Our proposal divides off the higher risk element. It makes the insurance market much simpler. You would be insuring for a higher level of comfort.&#34


Hutton refuted suggestions that all the Government plans to do is suspend the forced sales of elderly people&#39s homes for three months when they go into care.


He said: &#34That was never going to be our full response. We are working on a comprehensive response – fair to the taxpayer, fair to the individuals concerned.&#34

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