Sign up to our Editors Choice newsletter now! Click here

Cautious welcome for Government's care costs cap

Accessibility Menu

Menu Search

24dash - The UK's most up-to-date social housing and public sector news website

Cautious welcome for Government's care costs cap

24DASH.COM Logo

Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Finance, Housing

Rachael Byrne Rachael Byrne

A care and support specialist has cautiously welcomed the Government's cap on care costs.

Rachael Byrne, housing association Home Group’s executive director of care and support, has said that the the £75,000 personal care cost limit is a positive move which will be welcomed by families throughout England - but that its introduction must not be detrimental to others also requiring care.

The new cap will mean that those requiring high levels of support for conditions such as Alzheimers or Parkinsons will only be liable for the first £75,000 of their care.

Subsequent costs will be met by the State. The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has revealed that an increase in inheritance tax will fund the scheme.

Ms Byrne said: “The fact that there is now a personal limit is welcome, although it is more than double what had been recommended.

“As a member of the Care and Support Alliance we have lobbied hard to see a limit introduced. But we’ve also been arguing that this increased funding must not be at the expense of other vulnerable groups.

“Today’s announcement is good news for those with high support needs but it must also be remembered that those with low to medium support needs, which Home Group helps to deliver in their own homes, also need ongoing support from Government.

“We need to see more information on how the assessment criteria will work and we need to ensure that any changes do not create additional problems in the future.”

Home Group is the UK’s largest third sector provider of care and support services through its Stonham brand.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The cap is a huge step forward and gives more certainty for people in meeting the costs of care, and will help care providers to plan the right services for those who need it.

“But this is only one part of the solution to our care crisis. We need housing, health and adult social care services to work closer together as early as possible, which can dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable people.

“By working with housing associations that provide specialist and adapted housing and housing-related support, councils and the NHS can ease the pressure on their budgets and free-up space in local hospitals and residential care homes.

“The Government needs to encourage more funding of housing-related support by pooling NHS, housing and social care budgets, and should look at other ways housing can play a greater role – such as releasing home equity to pay for care or building good quality homes for older people that are suited their needs.”

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The cap is a huge step forward and gives more certainty for people in meeting the costs of care, and will help care providers to plan the right services for those who need it.

“But this is only one part of the solution to our care crisis. We need housing, health and adult social care services to work closer together as early as possible, which can dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable people.

“By working with housing associations that provide specialist and adapted housing and housing-related support, councils and the NHS can ease the pressure on their budgets and free-up space in local hospitals and residential care homes.

“The Government needs to encourage more funding of housing-related support by pooling NHS, housing and social care budgets, and should look at other ways housing can play a greater role – such as releasing home equity to pay for care or building good quality homes for older people that are suited their needs.”

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) chief executive Grainia Long said: “CIH has been calling on the Government to act on Andrew Dilnot’s recommendations for some time, so we are pleased that an announcement has finally been made.

“Capping the cost of care will provide a degree of certainty so people are able to plan for their future, and raising the threshold for means-tested support is also a step in the right direction.  However, the £75,000 cap is high – more than twice the amount Mr Dilnot recommended – which will cause concerns for many older people.  And it needs to be made clear that even once people have reached the cap they will still be responsible for meeting their own non-care costs such as accommodation.

“CIH would like to see a more preventative approach with measures such as costs for adaptations being included in the calculation of how much an individual should pay, which we believe would help people start to plan earlier and more proactively.

“The Government’s draft Care and Support Bill emphasises the importance of providing information and advice, whether people are paying for care themselves or receiving help, and this will  be critical to ensure any new system works more effectively than what we currently have in place.

“Finally, this announcement made little mention of the issue of quality of care, which can be variable – a crucial factor which we still want to see addressed.”

Comments

Login and comment using one of your accounts...