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The cost of social care

social care
Picture: Parentingupstream from Pixabay

From the chamber with Cllr David Hare

Cllr David Hare
Cllr David Hare

For many years people have been angry at the fact that most of an individual’s savings can be taken away for Social care costs, especially when that person goes into a care home.

 The NHS is free at the point of delivery, social care
is not.  Munira Wilson MP, the Liberal Democrat care lead, has secured the promise of talks about social care funding with Sajid Javid, the new Health Secretary, on his first day in office, Monday, June 28, as the Liberal Democrats continue to push for full cross-party talks on the issue. 

She asked Mr Javid for a meeting with herself and the party’s Leader, Ed Davey MP, to start cross-party work on social care reform.

She emphasised that: “We urgently need to build cross-party agreement on a long-term sustainable future for social care”.  

As things stand, more than 1.5 million people are missing out on the care they need.

Some people are stranded in hospital, unable to leave because follow-up care just does not exist.

There are people in the community, unable or unwilling due to cost to access essential care they desperately need. 

The NHS, local councils and unpaid carers are all under huge and growing pressure.

 This agreement to talk marks a positive shift as Ms Wilson had repeatedly asked the prime minister and Matt Hancock to meet with her and Ed Davey to start cross-party work on this issue, but their pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears.

A review of charges for residential care by Andrew Dilnot was published almost 10 years ago June 4, 2011, but nothing has happened to implement their ideas. 

The review recommended that the threshold, under which there was no charge, should be set at £100,000 for people in a care home, a large increase from the current threshold of £23,250.

The commission then recommended that a cap for all social care charges should be set at £35,000.

Once someone has reached this limit in their personal contributions the state should pick up all ongoing care costs.

In addition, an area many feel is very unfair, Mr Dilnot recommended that the value of the individuals house should not be included in their assets.

With the present system it is embarrassing for Adult Care that they keep having to request payment for essential services. 

Mr Johnson said he had a ready-made package to solve this problem, but it has not emerged and cross-party work seems the only way forward. 

As Ms Wilson said: “People needing care and their families have been left waiting far too long for the system to be fixed. Liberal Democrats will continue to push for the progress they desperately need.”

 David Hare is the Liberal Democrat lead for Adult Care

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