Tag Archives: Dilnot report

The Queen’s Speech – will social care be included?

Photo by Michael Garnett licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

At Age UK we will be listening very carefully to the Queen’s Speech to see if social care is mentioned and, if it is, what precisely is said. We sincerely hope that an intention to bring forward proposals for consultation will be stated, signifying that this new Government intends to press on with the Green Paper that was already underway before the General Election campaign began.

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Budget 2013: did the Chancellor deliver for older people?

Following statements from the Chancellor prior to the budget, it seemed that older people were due to benefit from significant changes to the future funding structures of social care and pensions. However, following the Chancellor’s statement there is little new to celebrate.

The main point of interest for pensioners was confirmation that the implementation of the cap on social care costs (the ‘Dilnot’ reforms) and the introduction of the single-tier state pension will both be brought forward to 2016-17. From April 2016, there will be a cap of £72,000 on the costs of care, and the upper threshold limit for the residential care means test will be increased to £118,000.

440x210_pound-coinsWhilst we welcome the earlier implementation of the care costs cap and the higher upper means test threshold from April 2016, this will do nothing to help the 800,000 older people who need help with everyday tasks but receive no formal state support. Since 2010/11, in real terms £700 million has been cut from local authority spending on social care. Although the Government has provided additional investment for social care over the course of this parliament, it has not been enough to halt the downwards spiral in care funding. As a result, 85 per cent of local authorities now provide care only to people with substantial or critical needs.
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Government announces care costs cap

This blog was contributed by Caroline Abrahams, Director of External Affairs, for Age UK. 

Last year’s White Paper and draft Bill make these encouraging times for social care, for decades a Cinderella service. What has been so obviously lacking though is the funding for a better system, so today’s announcement about the implementation of ‘Dilnot’ is a welcome step forward.

Unfortunately, implementation has to wait until April 2017, so very few older people living in a care home now will benefit, but at least some of those who come after them will: the Government estimates that 1 in 6 older people who need care will gain, but by just how much and over what timescale is hard to tell without detailed modelling which the Government has not (yet) released.

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One year on from Dilnot

One year after the Dilnot Commission’s report into the funding of long term care,  an ICM poll reveals that 89% of English adults believe that older and disabled people shouldn’t have to bear all the costs for support with everyday tasks such as eating, washing and dressing, even if they have a small amount of savings.

This represents a wholesale rejection of the current system, in which if you have more than £23,500 in savings and need support with basic tasks like eating, washing, dressing or leaving the house you have to pay the full costs of that care. 

At present, every adult in England has a one in two chance of needing care
costing £20,000 or more in life and a one in ten chance of needing care costing £100,000 or more. Once you move into a residential home the value of your house is included in calculating your savings.

Under the Dilnot proposals- commissioned by the Coalition Government – a suggested £35,000 limit would be placed on the amount of money that an individual would have to pay towards their care.

This survey gives extra weight to the Care and Support Alliance’s call to the Government for urgent reform of the social care system which leaves too many of our most vulnerable members of society without the support they need or terrified of spiralling costs.

A year after the landmark Dilnot report into social care funding, we are still waiting for the Government to publish its long awaited White Paper on Social Care and, equally crucially, plans for how a future system would be funded. The longer they hold off on reform plans, the longer older and disabled people and their families continue to go without the support they need to live decent and dignified lives.

Age UK is calling the Government to urgently deliver robust and effective change to care and support in England. The new system must be based on the principle of fairness. All those who need care and support must receive it; the quality of care must be of a standard that delivers the dignity people deserve; and the fear of incurring catastrophic costs as a result of needing long term care must be ended so that those who have worked hard all their lives do not lose everything.

The problem of care in later life will not go away and it is getting worse. Putting off the solution does not help families in England. Change must happen now.

Find out more about Age UK’s Care in Crisis campaign