"The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the long-recognised crisis in social care funding into public consciousness. The case for reform of the system accompanied by adequate funding, whilst long supported by this and other committees, has therefore never been more urgent or more compelling."
The Health and Social Care Committee report issued last month highlights the success of reforms made in Japan where providers compete on quality and reputation rather than price, with prices set nationally, service users pay a co-payment of between 10% and 30% of the total care cost and the system is funded through general taxation and ‘premiums’ paid by all people over 40 at a rate of 1% of income
The Committee received varied evidence and made 21 recommendations including free personal care and a cap on care fees. It explains a call for an immediate funding increase and a starting point for the social care funding increase must be an additional £7bn per year by 2023–24.
Witnesses described the system as hard to navigate and a 'quagmire', with confusing information that was hard to find, and contradictory’ and that a lack of information made it impossible to plan ahead.
All of the ingredients for supported choices are well known. The suggested 10 year plan and better alignment between Health and Social Care supports the clear message from Care Act 2014 - Information and Advice is vital for sustainable choices. Divourcing the need from the cost cannot continue, quality assured advice is essential to avoid disruptive moves, wealth depletion and ill advised decisions.