“Commission on Funding of Care & Support” 2

Age UK, in an interesting blog by Stephen Lowe entitled “Changing the Social Care Landscape”, has recently commented on the potential tension between the Dilnot Commission Report and the Law Commission Review of Adult Social Care Law.  Both are due to report later this year.

I agree completely that the current social care system, as it applies to most older people, is a disaster.  I am not as confident as Stephen Lowe at Age UK seems to be that the two Commissions looking into adult social care will reach an harmonious conclusion.  I believe Andrew Dilnot will come up with some fairly radical proposals for the funding of care because as an economist he will clearly see that anything less will mean that the cost of care funding by the state will be unsustainable.  Sadly I feel the Law Commission Review is far less likely to simplify the evermore complicated web of human rights and age discrimination legislation.  The application of tighter and tighter regulation, however well intended, will not solve the problem of failing systems.

Stephen Lowe rightly says that the fundamental difficulty is to do with trust and I agree with that completely.  So long as the quality of health and social service care for older people remains as bad as it is, there can be no straightforward solution to the issues.  What the Department of Health needs to do is help build a new vision of health care for the elderly.  I have already expanded on this in my submission to the Dilnot Commission which is included in my blog dated 6th February 2011.  I believe that the NHS and Social Services need to step back from providing anything other than acute care for older people but the price of this is that the majority of older people will need to fully fund their own care in the future

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1 Response to “Commission on Funding of Care & Support” 2

  1. david freeman says:

    ‘Commission on Funding 0of Care & Support 2’
    John I have read your ‘blog’ with interest, and also the web sites mentioned:
    1/ Age UK ‘Blog’ by Stephen Lowe, and
    2/ Dilnot Commission (Criteria), and
    3/ The Law Commission, (Summary)
    I note the bodies 2 & 3 were closed to public contributions in mid 2010. I therefore submit these comments to you for further consideration: Hoping you have another avenue for comment?
    Introduction
    I note both the commissions were I believe brought about by the government of the day, and the vexed question we face in the future of what is ‘Care’? However one defines it.
    Your Blog(s)
    This is a brutal and in your face statement of what has to come! However I would like to understand why? and in my naivety explore my ideas below.
    Historical Comment .Ref -The Law Commission Summary
    This is an interesting document, and drifts from the 1948 Health and Various Care Acts to the present day dealing with ‘Adult Social Care Law’.
    One feature I note is that the summary refers to outdated concepts such as ‘dumb and crippled persons’, handicapped’ and suffer(ing) from congenital deformity. (No direct mention is made of loss of sight-blindness). These ideals I understand with compassion and are simple however offensive the language used, and they should I believe still stand.
    Change
    I note later in the summary that the Law Commission will consult with the Department of Health.
    Herein lies my problem, the Department of Health controls the National Health Service, and also the Care in the Community as I understand. My perception is that the National Health Services provide:
    a/ Hospital Care
    b/ Doctors and dental Consultations and treatments,
    c/ After Care in the community.
    d/ Mental Health Care
    Future
    What I believe is required is a fundamental rethink of the general term ‘National Health Service’ including Mental Health, and The Care Services. Clear and concise Statutes/Laws should be enabled to redefine what each of these terms mean.
    Change in the Law.
    I would propose a root, tree, and branch change in the law, and associated laws with respect to the National Health Service definition, and the associated ‘Care’ Laws be repealed and reissued under a new statue/law similar in format to the Health and Safety and Welfare at Work Act 1974. (One controlling act with all other legislation subservient to it.). The main act defining principles of Health and Care for all ages, taking into consideration the outdated concepts of language and the terms it defines in earlier statues.
    With this in mind provision will have to be made for such exceptional circumstances such as the Thylimadyde Drug caused, or a similar situation still unknown at the time of enacting the law, but which can be foreseen.
    Separation
    There should be in my humble opinion a clear demarcation between Health requiring clinical attention by a doctor, dentists or hospital establishment to except that from ‘Care in the Community provided for:
    1. Dumb and crippled person (Including blindness-loss of sight)
    2. Handicapped
    3. Suffering for congenital deformity
    4. Suffering from the effects such as a similar but not the same source as the Thylamadyde Drug, or another event, as yet unforeseen.
    5. People who suffer these ailments should be provided for by the state.
    6. Mental Health
    Age Related Ailments
    For those encouraged to remain at home, or in a community for the over 55’s there should be some clear and ‘statutory’ guidance on ‘domiciliary care, and its associated costs, as one reaches fragility and vulnerability so it is clearly understood by all. Is it is a requirement that only the local council can provide ‘Care’ in the community? Is this also defined by statute?
    Conclusion
    The Law Society and the ‘Commission for funding of care ‘ Both need to be brutal and blunt, in association with the local council’s commission in clearly stating what levels of financial and active support that define as being given to each of its elderly citizens should they require assistance.
    I agree that for ‘Care in the Old’ one has to be considered as a personal problem by us all as individuals: However if we fall on hard times as a neighbour we should be prepared to help one and other. One cannot predict the future.
    Footnote
    The commission on Funding Care and Support and the Law Commission, have two distinct views of the same problem: However together I think they will answer some of my concerns.

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