Funding Social Care - Green Paper?

September 15, 2017

In the beginning

After more than 60 years of a Health and Social Care legal patchwork the Care Act 2014 seemed like the once in a lifetime opportunity to address how care is not only assessed and delivered but also how it is paid for.

 

Introduced in two parts, the Care Act 2014 gave us a reforming law and raised awareness around the perfect storm’ brewing in our care industry, providing an opportunity for services to use a statutory requirement to put an end to divorcing the need from the cost…

 

Part One was introduced from April 2015 and well under way when questions over the implementation of a cap and extended means test due to be implemented with part two from April 2016 were delayed until 2020.

 

Hurray

With Parliamentary debates, professional body’s pleas and Think Tanks reports urging for more long term funding to address a 'tipping point' the Spring Budget 2017 announced an additional £2 billion for councils in England over the next 3 years for adult social care.

 

Not quite

The Conservative election Manifesto’s hit headlines with a so called ‘Dementia Tax’, by proposing to scrap property disregards and introduce a ceiling and raising the question, what should Part two of the Care Act 2014 look like? The focus on a sustainable resolve for funding long term care was diverted once the election results were announced but later in June the Queens Speech brought it back to the front -  “My ministers will work to improve social care and will bring forward proposals for consultation” and in June several House of Commons Briefing Papers were issued.

 

As care provision shortages are highlighted and delayed discharge statistics seem likely to affect any additional funding for a Local Authority, Deferred Payment Agreements have again been raised, this time in the House of Lords, and despite the low take-up how they fit into an overall long term care funding plan seems key as between 2008 and 2039, 74 per cent of projected household growth will be made up of households with someone aged 65 or older.

 

To conclude

There is no doubt that our growing, ageing population needs care but they also need information and advice to make affordable, sustainable choices. With the statutory requirement being largely menu driven as a tick box exercise it is unlikely that any additional funding will be filtered into advice services as the need for and value of specialist care advice has been under-estimated and under-valued.

 

So, Funding Social Care - Green Paper? Care Act 2014 Part Two, where are we now? We wait, offer a practitioner perspective and hope that something will be published before late 2018… 

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