Finding the best care for older relatives is often one of the most difficult decisions a family has to make. The Government’s announcement on a cap on social care costs was debated recently during the passage of the Health and Care Bill with the Government winning by a narrow majority.
The Government promised that no one would have to sell their home to pay for residential care. The proposed change does raise the upper limit for costs to £86000 but in reality that means many people will have to sell their home because that’s their only asset. The cap is also unfair because someone with a home worth £120,000 in the North East will lose a bigger percentage than someone in a million pound house in the South East.
It is clear that the National Insurance Contribution rise in April to increase resources first to tackle the waiting list problem in the NHS and then what’s left for social care will not even address the former. What’s missing is a properly funded long term plan for social care including helping people to live independently in their own home for longer, with emphasis on care at home rather than a care home, and everything in between. But the scale of that problem is shown by the 1.5 million people without access to the care they need because of a decade of cuts to council budgets. Until those issues are addressed the risk is money will go into a broken system which neither delivers a better service nor value for money.