A shortfall in funding and growing pressure on Health and Social Care budgets, services and staff have led to the need for reform but are we getting closer to a long term solution?
Since 1998, there have been 12 green and white papers, countless consultations and five independent commissions on Adult Social Care. The Care Act 2014, new legislation intended to modernise Social Care raised hopes, pressure and expectation but brought little change. U turns on promises made and remnants of hastily proposed changes have been offered while looking for a long term solution are still being considered for a Green Paper due this summer. Maybe this time…
In a recent interview with Care Home Professional Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said "doing nothing is not an option" and during a speech made on the 20th March 2018, Jeremy Hunt said "The Green Paper will be published before the summer and will be framed by thinking on the 7 principles". Summer recess is expected to start on 25th July 2018.
These are the Seven Principles:
1. Quality of care
2. Whole person integrated care
5. Supporting families and carers
6. A sustainable funding model for social care supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market
7. Security for all
With the focus on integrating services and a return to the principle of personalisation, joining health and social care budgets might support progress towards more integrated care, but if nothing is done to address the differences in eligibility between the two systems it won't be any easier to navigate.
We can't be sure exactly what will be under consultation later in the Summer but it seems that the following are possible:
Property Disregard changes
Extended Deferred Payment Agreements
Extended Personal Health Budgets
Cap/Ceiling on care costs
Extended means test
Personal responsibility for social care
These are interesting reads and offer some suggestion...