4 July 2011
The Dilnot Commission has outlined its recommendations for the reform of adult social care in England.
If implemented the report, Fairer Care Funding, would cost around £1.7billion.
- capping an individual’s lifetime contributions towards their social care costs at £35,000
- increasing the means-tested threshold, above which people would be liable for their full care costs, from £23,250 to £100,000
- introducing national eligibility criteria and portable assessments
- immediate free state support for all who enter adulthood with a care and
support need without a means test.
In a statement on the Commission’s website, Chairman Andrew Dilnot said:
“The issue of funding for adult social care has been ignored for too long. We should be celebrating the fact we are living longer and that younger people with disabilities are leading more independent lives than ever before. But instead we talk about the ‘burden of ageing’ and individuals are living in fear, worrying about meeting their care costs.
“The current system is confusing, unfair and unsustainable. People can’t protect themselves against the risk of very high care costs and risk losing all their assets, including their house. This problem will only get worse if left as it is, with the most vulnerable in our society being the ones to suffer.
“Under our proposed system everybody who gets free support from the state now will continue to do so and everybody else would be better off. Putting a limit on the maximum lifetime costs people may face will allow them to plan ahead for how they wish to meet these costs. By protecting a larger amount of people’s assets they need no longer fear losing everything.”
So far the report has been welcomed by organisations such as the TUC and Kings Fund.
Turning Point the health and social care organisation for people affected by drug and alcohol misuse, mental health problems and learning disability says, also applauds the move but adds: “It is not only older people who are affected though and we feel more attention should be paid to other recipients of long-term care.”