The Care and Support white paper and draft bill, sets out
how the social care system will be transformed.
But when it comes to long-term care the proposals are vague.
Once the political rhetoric has been stripped out, the government agrees in
principle with the Dilnot Commission that– financial protection through capped
costs and an extended means test is the right basis for any new funding model.
But it says that it cannot afford change now. It adds that it cannot give a
timetable, or any confirmation of who pays for what and how.
One new suggestion is a deferred payments scheme to ensure
no one will be forced to sell their home to pay for care in their lifetime. The
logic is that the person going into care would have all or some of their fees
paid from a fund and when they die the fund will pay off the debt. The idea has
not been thought through as there is no suggestion of who funds the fund, who
controls what is charged for what is a loan, and what happens if a person going
into care is not legally capable of signing documents. Old people tend to fear
new debt and the system could be prone to fraud and abuse from care homes and
Stephen Gay of the Association of British Insurers says, “We are deeply disappointed to see social care funding reform yet again left in
the government's pending tray.
Governments past and present have for four parliamentary terms
consistently failed to make a firm commitment to tackling the care crisis, at
the expense of not just those needing care, but their families, carers and
wider communities. These frustrating delays have left people in constant limbo,
unable to plan ahead and facing up to funding their care when it is too late,
with this burden inevitably falling on the NHS and local communities crippled
under stretched budgets. Action is now long overdue and we call on all three
political parties to make a firm manifesto commitment at the next election to
resolve this issue and tackle funding social care to avoid the buck being
passed on to yet another generation."
Basically, on long-term care, the government has plenty of wind but no
Long term care news: 13 July 2012