The King’s Fund says a partnership agreement between the Government and individuals is the best way to tackle social care reform.
New fairer funding arrangements, a review of the current settlement for older people and reforms to the benefits system are among the proposals put forward in a major new report on the social care system by The King’s Fund. The new report concludes that a partnership model is the fairest way of funding social care in the future. This would see the state guaranteeing to pay 50 per cent of everyone’s care costs and matched funding for individual contributions to encourage people to save for their old age.
New research shows the cost of the current system is set to double over the next 15 years, with no improvement in outcomes. In contrast, the reforms proposed would halve unmet need by significantly increasing the amount of care people receive and see around 50 per cent more people helped than under the current system.
The key recommendations are:
- A partnership model should be adopted as the basis for a new funding settlement for social care. Decisions about whether individual contributions should be voluntary or compulsory should follow on from this
- Plans to improve the delivery of care and support should be stepped up, with particular emphasis on more personalised services and driving up quality
- A review of the current settlement for older people should be undertaken. This could consider the default retirement age, the re-indexation and level of the basic state pension and timetable for raising the state pension age
- A long term, staged approach to reform should be adopted to ensure fairness between the generations. This must be based on political consensus and an all-party road map for reform
- Dr Anna Dixon says, “The current social care system often falls short of meeting the needs of the people who rely on it and will not be able to cope with increasing demand for services as the population ages. The people who stand to benefit most from our proposals are those on moderate and middle incomes who are heavily penalised by the current system.”