Older people could have their own dedicated ‘National Care Service’, under new Government proposals.
The idea is thought to be one option proposed in the long-awaited Green Paper on social care, aimed at getting the best value for money and making funding stretch to look after the UK’s ageing population.
The proposals come amid concerns that many older people are forced to sell their family home to pay for care, and that services vary widely between local authorities.
The Government hopes to introduce a ‘minimum care entitlement’, meaning that everybody has access to the same services at the same cost.
But the proposals will come at a price, with a series of different funding options being suggested, including a levy on people’s estates after death or a contribution of £20,000.
There are now more pensioners than children in Britain, which is becoming a bigger burden on workers to cover state pensions and health care costs.
But some care homes can cost as much as £200,000, which many elderly simply can not afford.
Due to the pressures on the NHS, a £6bn social care funding deficit is expected within 20 years.
Do we need a 'national care service' for older people?