Care Act risks being eroded away to nothing
By guest blogger Damian Utton
from Pozzoni Architecture
A key aspect of the Care Act 2014 and Conservative Party manifesto will be broken as the lifetime cap on an individual’s cost of care, which was expected to be set at £72k from April 2016, is deferred until 2020.
Struggling local authorities, lobbying via the Local Government Association, are cited as the trigger-point for the policy U-turn: it is estimated that £3bn will be saved by 2020 in the event of the cap deferring, including a £59m saving for the year 2016-17 alone.
Whilst few would disagree that social care is chronically underfunded, this decision will undoubtedly impact on older people and their families, who, with the ability to plan taken away from them, will further pressure the homecare services that this about-turn hopes to protect; not to mention the already overstretched NHS.
There is real evidence that a suitable care environment can reduce hospital admissions, thereby relieving the burden on the NHS. If this deferment is to save on public spending, will there be new funding elsewhere in the social care system to compensate?
The Government must act positively to address funding for the care system or we must face the risk that the positive proposals of the Care Act will slowly erode away to nothing.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.