A new National Care Service will offer free personal care so 350,000 people with the highest needs can receive home care regardless of personal wealth. Currently anyone with savings over £23,500 receives no state assistance. Ministers hope to implement the scheme in England by mid-2010. The general election is expected in May.
The National Care Service will bring together the NHS and local authorities that currently provide social services. The proposals for personal care will affect some 350,000 people in England who require assistance with every aspect of day-to-day living - from dressing to cooking. It would not apply to those already in residential care, but will help people to remain in their homes.