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Decision on social care funding reform delayed


Ministers have confirmed they cannot commit to a cap on the cost of social care until 2015 – and suggested the amount patients have to pay could be higher than the level recommended by an independent review of care funding.

The white paper says the government accepts in principle a cap in care costs, as recommended by Andrew Dilnot’s independent commission a year ago. Ministers said they will work to introduce a system of loans from councils to pay for residential care by April 2015. Ministers will also bring in a national threshold setting out eligibility for care at the same time.

However, a “progress report” on funding reform published alongside the white paper said “there are a number of important questions and trade-offs to be considered”. A new funding model will only be based on the Dilnot principles “if a way to pay for it can be found”.

“The government is unable to commit to introducing a new system at this stage. Funding reform needs to be considered alongside other priorities and the right place to do this is at the next spending review. A final decision will be taken then”.

The next review is expected in 2015.

The Dilnot Commission suggested care costs be capped between £25,000 and £50,000 per individual. But the progress report says: “There was a discussion of the level of the cap, with some people suggesting that a cap could be set at the top of the commission’s range – or even slightly higher (eg at £75,000) – without undermining the principles of the system.”

The DH has run calculations for the effect of a cap of £100,000, and has used that model as the assumption for some of its further analysis.

The report says “the financial services industry” had said the “most appropriate level for the cap” might be higher than the Dilnot recommendations.

Ministers are also considering an “opt-out approach” to the scheme. The report said: “One approach would be to implement a voluntary scheme which people could opt into or out of.

“People could individually make the choice to be protected by the capped cost scheme – and only people that opt in would pay the cost.”

The paper also includes commitments to improve the quality of care. Councils will be required to use a “diverse range” of care providers to ensure patients can choose.

They will also rule out “crude contracting by the minute”, arguing this can “undermine dignity and choice for those who use care and support”.

The paper sets out aims to bring in a new code of conduct and minimum training standards for care workers, and to double the number of care apprenticeships to 100,000 by 2017.

The white paper will now go to consultation. Ministers have said they will work with the opposition on the plans.


Readers' comments (4)

  • It's soooooooo simple.

    I'm a carer for my Father [severe Dementia] and 1st hand experience leads me to tell all who listen the following :

    Don't sell your house to pay for care, go on a world cruise and SPEND SPEND SPEND.
    In the mean time, give the max to your kids/relatives, marriage gifts birthday gifts etc etc, and leave around 23 Grand.


    go in to care and let the state pick up the tab.

    Why should those who worked hard and saved get the same as those who did not ?

    Go and spend YOUR money, then let the care home spend the state's money.

    Until a sensible and brave option is provided by government, why make their jobs easier ?

    It's your money, you spend it on you......................... not your care [which is the state's responsibility]

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  • brad carter | 11-Jul-2012 10:49 pm

    Translation from a German article in
    Artikel | K-Tipp 16/2006

    I will never go into an old people's home

    A letter to P. Couchepin (Former President of Switzerland) which is not meant totally in earnest

    When, in the near future I am old and doddery, I will certainly not go into an old peoples' home, but rather on a cruise ship. I will now describe the reasons to you:
    The average cost for an old peoples' home is amount to 400 francs a day. I have checked
    a reservation for the cruise ship "Aida". For a long distance journey as a pensioner I have to pay 270 francs a day. Also with Adam Travel I would have 130 francs a day left over. This I can use for tips.

    For 10 francs extra a day the personnel would fulfil my every wish and treat me
    like a good customer and not like a patient.

    There are also other important reasons:

    I have free meals when I shuffle into one of the on board restaurants. I can also have meals
    brought to the cabin by room service. In other words, I can have breakfast in bed every day.

    The "Aida" has three swimming pools, a fitness room, free usage of washing machines and tumbler, and every evening there is a show on the programme.

    There is also free toothpaste, razors, soap and shampoo on board.

    Every 8 to 14 days I get to meet new and interesting people.

    Faulty television? Finished light bulbs? The mattress is too soft, too hard? No problem: the personnel change everything free of charge and, furthermore, thank me for my understanding.

    Fresh bed linen and hand towels every day are a matter of course. I don't even have to ask once.

    When I fall and break a rib in an old peoples' home, I go to hospital and have to pay out even more.
    On the "Aida" I receive a suite for the rest of the journey and care free of charge from the ship's doctor.

    I have never heard of a case of a paying passenger on a cruise ship being threatened or
    mistreated. From what one reads, this is not always the case in old peoples' homes.

    With the "Aida" I am exceptionally mobile and can always travel in comfort to South America, Africa,
    Australia, Asia or wherever else.

    And the best: I don't need to save any more for funeral costs. My last wish is: throw me over the railing. You see, that is also free of charge!

    Now, Mr President, isn't that a good idea.

    With respectful greetings

    Frau Pfàffli from the Toggenburg

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  • brad carter | 11-Jul-2012 10:49 pm

    when I suggested this to a financial manager he said it was a very foolish idea and he wouldn't put his own mother into a care home provided by the state!

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  • Fantastic blog 11.17 Maybe instead of nursing homes social services should be chartering cruise ships to sail the seas until destination death is arrived at!

    If cruise ships can provide this service at a profit why do nursing homes cost so much for relatively little

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