§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to strengthen the rights and protection of residents in elderly persons' care homes from eviction; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the impact on life expectancy of residents of (a) care home closure and (b) eviction from a care home. 
§ Dr. Ladyman
The Department of Health recognises that moving between care homes can be difficult and stressful for any long-term resident, particularly vulnerable older people. Such moves, including ones made as a result of care home closures, should be handled as sensitively and appropriately as possible. Proper arrangements should be made for the safe and satisfactory transfer of all residents to other suitable homes. There should be adequate time for this to be done, in a way that allows both residents and their relatives a choice in where they are to move to, and which creates the minimum possible discomfort to all concerned.
For each resident supported under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948, councils should agree a contract with independent care homes that includes a statement of terms and conditions covering matters such as fees and period of notice. This is in accordance with Standard 2 of the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes for Older People. Councils should play a part in facilitating transfers from one home to another as and when appropriate. With respect to supported residents who are transferring, councils should ensure that residents' needs are re-assessed and alternative and appropriate accommodation is arranged promptly, with due regard to the Choice of Accommodation Directions 1992.
With respect to residents who fund their own care, Standard 2 of the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes for Older People also states that contracts agreed by the residents and care homes should cover fees payable, the period of notice and other matters. If, when homes close or residents transfer for other reasons, self-funding residents require advice on other homes to enter and how to go about it, councils should provide this advice. If self-funding residents lack the capacity to make their own arrangements, following an assessment of their needs, councils should take over the arrangements.