Read the Care & Support Alliance Briefing for the Second Readin of the care Bill
Responding to the inclusion of a Care Bill in today’s Queen’s Speech, Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care & Support Alliance, said:
“The social care system is in deep crisis. The number of older people, disabled people and carers that need social care is increasing. At the same time budgets are shrinking and support is being rationed.
“The Care and Support Alliance welcomes the commitment from the Government to end the grossly unfair postcode lottery of the current system and introduce a lifetime cap on the costs of care. But there is a real danger that eligibility will be set at a level that excludes most people that need support to get up, get dressed and get out of the house.
“Legislation alone can’t solve the care crisis. The Care and Support bill, unveiled tomorrow, needs to be accompanied by a much needed emergency injection of funds together with a long-term financial commitment ensuring that older, disabled, seriously ill people and their carers are supported by a fair and sustainable care system.”
Read the CSA Briefing on the Queen’s Speech
Care and Support Alliance briefing on Queen’s Speech
Proposed reforms welcome – but not enough on their own
The Social Care system is in crisis
- There is a rising need for social care in our society – due to an ageing population and increasing numbers of people with disabilities.
- Local authorities across the country are rapidly restricting the categories of people who qualify for help with social care – in the vast majority of local authorities you now have to be assessed as having “substantial” care needs as well as have less than £23,250 to get any help with social care support.
The publication of the Care and Support Bill in the Queen’s Speech will outline the Government’s plans for the future of social care for older and disabled people and their carers.
It is expected to:
- Introduce a national eligibility threshold – meaning finally that access to the social care system is based on need rather than where someone lives
- Making social care assessments portable – meaning that if someone receiving social care moves, they do not lose their social care provision.
- Introduce a lifetime cap on care costs of £72,000 to start in 2016
- Strengthen the rights of carers
The Care and Support alliance recognises these proposals as a major step forward in social care reform which could make the system much fairer.
However legislation is not enough. For the Care and Support Bill to fulfil its promise, it needs to be accompanied by:
- A firm commitment in June’s spending review to find the resources to make such a system a sustainable reality.
- A commitment to set the eligibility threshold for entry to the social care system at a level equivalent to that deemed “moderate” in the current system. Currently the vast majority of councils have cut those with moderate needs out of social care system. Unless this changes it means those people who are unable to carry out tasks such as washing, preparing a meal, or dressing, those who are unable to continue to work without support and those whose carers cannot cope anymore would not get any funded social care support or have their expenditure on care count towards a lifetime cap.
By setting the entry threshold at moderate the Care and Support Alliance believes that people will be able to get help before a problem spirals into a crisis.
All too often denying social care support to those who need it results in unnecessary hospital admissions, increasing isolation, disabled people and their carers being forced out of the workplace and carers cracking under the strain of trying to cope.
The Care and Support Alliance calls upon the Government to secure its legacy to current and future generations of older, disabled and seriously ill people and their carers by creating a fair social care system built on a bedrock of sustainable funding and legislative transformation.
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Today the Care and Support Alliance launches it’s online action, calling on Jeremy Hunt MP to use the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to end the crisis.
The current system is chronically underfunded, leaving thousands of people without the care and support they need. The Care and Support Alliance are looking to the Government to be bold and act now to end the care crisis.
In the current economic climate it will be too easy for the Government to shy away from making tough decisions about the future of social care. We need to show the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, and our own MPs, how important it is that the Government addresses the failings in the current system. Over the next couple of weeks, we must put pressure on the Government to increase funding for social care.
We need your help!
It will only take five minutes to fill out the form below, which will send an email to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, and to your own MP.
The link to the online action is
The Care and Support Alliance today warned that the promise of social care reform was being threatened by a lack of funding. Responding to the Joint Committee report into the Draft Care and Support Bill, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, Simon Gillespie, said:
“The CSA welcomes today’s report and its clear recognition that the Government must deliver adequate funding if it is to realise its goal of developing a social care system fit for the future. The funding gap for care is growing and without increased resources, more and more people are likely to go without the care and support they need.
“We support the Committee’s recommendation that the threshold for eligibility criteria needs to promote the well being of individuals. This means the threshold must not be set too high. We know that failing to meet even an individual’s ‘moderate’ needs can have a damaging impact on their lives. However, this is increasingly happening as local authorities raise eligibility criteria.
“We also welcome the report’s suggestions that personal budgets must be sufficient to meet needs and that local authorities should take account of the cost of provision when setting rates they will pay providers“Finally, the CSA agrees with the report that advocacy should be provided before the assessment for care and support takes place. However, we would like to see a right for a person to have an advocate to support them throughout the process if they would not be able to be properly involved in the assessment without one.”
Simon Gillespie, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance responded to the Secretary of State’s statement on proposals for long-term care funding saying;
“Today’s announcement will provide much needed protection for those who face losing everything in the lottery of care costs. Whilst our members had campaigned for a lower level of cap, the £75,000 lifetime limit on care costs will help those with the highest level of care needs over the longest period of time. But many families struggling with care costs will be dismayed by the four year wait from announcement to implementation.
“What is crucial is that the Government does not treat today’s announcement as the end of the story on social care funding. It still needs to urgently address the issue of growing numbers of older and disabled people who despite clear need receive no help. Therein lies the real moral scandal of the social care system. Today’s announcement will mean that no-one will lose everything to care costs, we are now looking for the Government to ensure that no-one will be left to struggle alone with their care needs
Responding to the reports in the weekend’s press about an imminent announcement on social care funding.
Simon Gillespie, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said:
“Having campaigned strongly for the Dilnot model, the Care & Support Alliance anticipates tomorrow’s announcement as an important step forward in starting to protect families facing huge bills for care and support services. Although if reports are correct and the cap has been set at £75,000 and thus far higher than the original recommendation of £35,000 from Andrew Dilnot – it establishes a significant principle that families should have some protection from losing almost everything to care costs.
“But the high costs of care, plus the cost of board and lodging will still cause real fear and anxiety for older and disabled people and their families so we urge the Government to urgently set out a timetable for making care more affordable.
“Families struggling now with the costs of long-term care should also not have to wait four years for change. Some of these reforms can be delivered now and we urge the Government to take the earliest opportunity to at least introduce the rise in the means-test.
“However, this is only part of the answer for how the care crisis is tackled. A critical part of the Dilnot proposals was delivering sufficient funding to ensure enough care was available to meet growing demand. The funding gap for care is growing – this means that older and disabled people and their families are going without vital support. To end the crisis in care Government must also urgently deliver a sustainable funding solution that makes sure care and support are available to all who need it.”