“Social Care White Paper” 2

This blog follows on from “Social Care White Paper 1”.  (Click on Dilnot Commission in the TAG CLOUD to see earlier posts).

It continues the discussion on the social care white paper and the future funding long-term care of older people.

Whilst the continued prevarication is disappointing, there are some promising signs in the white paper that the Government is gradually beginning to chart a way forward.  But — you have to read between the lines — here is my attempt at understanding what the Secretary of State is hinting at  :-

  • Andrew Lansley agrees with the principles of the Dilnot report.
    • This means it is quite a long way from political acceptability and we will not act on its recommendations until we can be convinced they are election-winning proposals, —- i.e. after the next general election.
  • A cap on care costs is accepted but the level set at £35,000 or even £50,000 may be too low.
      • The £100,000 being considered by the Department of Health is just a softener for a cap of around £60,000.   This covers the cost if about two years’ stay in residential care (including £10,000 annual accommodation costs).   It will provide for the remaining lifespan of most residents — except those with mild dementia or long-term disability.
  • The Government is setting up standard eligibility criteria for access to residential care.
      • This is thinly disguised code for limiting residential care to critical and substantial care.   In practice this has already happened, but it needs to be legitimized before an insurance scheme can be introduced.
  • The Government is setting up a loan scheme to allow people to keep their homes if they move into residential care.
      • This is a sop to the chorus of media outcry about people having to sell their homes to pay for care and it may avoid the “death tax” lable.  In practice why do people need to keep a home if they move permanently into residential care.
      • The good news is that it  is also opening the door which leads  older people to use equity release to pay for care, which is the only realistic long-term solution.
  • The Government are considering a voluntary scheme of insurance for long-term care.
      •  This is recognition that the commercial insurance industry are not likely to take this issue up quickly.   Equally the Government, by floating the idea of an opt-out or opt-in scheme, are testing the water, in terms of acceptability.    Personally, I doubt if people will opt in unless the premium is very low (less than £10,000).   However, this has to be the right way forward and it ultimately prepares the way for a universal social care insurance scheme which ensures that everybody – young and old – insure for their frail future.

So overall, whilst the continuing prevarication is disappointing, it is probably a necessary adjustment period.   The more important thing is that at least the signs are pointing in the right direction.



This entry was posted in ELDERLY UK POLICY and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Social Care White Paper” 2

  1. gentle reading, mesmorising and very sobering> Where do we or I go from here?

    • john graham says:

      I think nowhere in a hurry is the answer. Politicians are not known for their courage when it comes to action and certainly not when the message is an uncomfortable one.

  2. A penny for them! A Grouse! A Red Herring, and then off course a shaggy dog story? What more can one ask?
    Dear John, I wonder? I have been ‘chewing the cud’ over personal alarm systems, and came across AGE Concern’s web site, to which they pointed me to their information sheet 42, and all the aspects of growing old and requiring assistance.
    I have had no resolution over some form of personal tagging system other than I have been cautioned to be wary! Very wary? The idea of personally tracking an individual of any age is an infringement of their individual human rights (Tracking over a distance from their own home or within their own home). To which I must agree, and subscribe too.
    I do have a nagging thought in mind? What is the red line of personal freedoms and care? And when does an organisation/family/ carer cross these boundaries? It is perplexing, and mind boggling. I feel there should be some middle road between recorded and declared mentally unstable and committed to an institution, under a mental health act, and a genuine feeling of care to assist the individual to life a life of independence (In the widest sense).
    I have no answers. I would like to read any answers/suggestions on a postcard if anyone cares to comment.
    Dilnot was far reaching!! Yes? But maybe I find the power of the Local Councils in England and the NHS and their financial briefs-shall I say interesting, and the thought process in certain areas restictive to some of ‘off the wall ideas????’

  3. It is difficult to try and understand the benifits system, as one ages, and as you have explained many times on your Blog! John, we are financially responsible for our own future! There is no silver bullet of the ‘state’. While one may show compassion for ones fellow neighbour: The hard reality is one cannot support them in any financial way, except through charity and ones tax system. The only commodity one has in old age is time, and ones health to be ably to help. Here one finds many demands emotionally and to a greater extent financially to be of assistance in the right place at the right time! It is very sobering in a quiet moment of contemplation.
    Ones kith and kin are important: however in this aging society as we notice the government (No matter what shade politically-through the system of government are asking/requiring all the living to provide for thier own old age requirements, through the sale of assets?(A house, savings holiday home Etc.) In reflection this is relatively fair, provided those able to have assessd more assets in their own lifetime, through enterprise and inheritance have given and provided succour to their fellow citezens and the young of the nation the ability to respect law, order, and compassion and feelings for their fellow citezens.

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