from Robin Lovelock: this letter was not made public until Thursday 30th October, the day after IDS lost his vote of confidence and it became clear that the Conservatives would elect a new leader. This new leader may select new members for his shadow cabinet and it is possible that there are subtle changes in policy. No reply has yet been received from IDS, but I did receive two letters that were most helpful: one was from the PA to Dr Fox, dated 26th September, explaining that she had passed my letter below to Simon Burns, the member of the Shadow Health team who has the responsibility for long term care. The two page letter from Simon Burns MP, dated 14th October, correctly summarized the situation regarding "Coughlan" and the Ombudsman's Report, although he did say, "In the majority of cases, individuals who need long term care do not require such care primarily on health grounds." I and others would take issue with this assumption. It is clear that we need to investigate this topic further - since it is of crucial importance to both the present government and any future government. i.e. the source of the 10 billion of claims. His letter did seem to make clear that the current Conservative policy was to encourage people to take out private health insurance to cover the possible need for long term care. His words were, "We believe that it should be possible to take advantage of Britain's high level of home ownership and well developed financial services industry to encourage more people voluntarily to provide for the chance that they will need long term care." We found no mention of the subject of long term care in the speech by Dr Fox at the Conservative Part Conference. I am grateful to Simon Burns for making the current Conservative policy clear and will revisit this page if and when we have further information, following election of a new leader and resulting Shadow Cabinet and policies.

22 Armitage Court, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berks SL5 9TA.
Tel/Fax 01344 620775
Our Ref: IDS1.RTF 25th September 2003

The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, PC, MP,
House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
Copies: Dr Liam Fox, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health. www.nhscare.info.

Dear Mr Duncan Smith,

NHS Continuing Care and Funding

I write to you in my capacity as Editor of the website www.NHSCare.Info which is devoted to bringing attention to the right of the public to receive full funding for continuing care where primary needs are health needs, as articulated in the Coughlan Judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal in July 1999 and to which the Health Service Ombudsman refers in her Report "NHS Funding for Long-term care" presented to Parliament earlier this year.

The contributors to the website, including those whose complaints were upheld by the Ombudsman, seek cross-party agreement on continuing care and are particularly interested to know what the policy of a potential Conservative Government would be. The leader of the Liberal Democrats has made his views known but regrettably, the Minister, Dr John Reid, has been less than forthcoming. A clear statement of Conservative Party policy from yourself would be most welcome.

I have enclosed a brief overview from the website which I hope you will visit and encourage others to do so. I look forward to your response.

Yours Sincerely

Robin Lovelock, editor of www.nhscare.info