The Government has set out its vision for the adult social care sector over the next 10 years.
It follows on from reforms announced several months ago, which aim to shake up the way people pay for care.
Here is the latest on the Government’s plans for the sector.
– Why is the Government reforming social care?
The problem of how to sustainably fund social care has remained unsolved by successive governments, and the coronavirus pandemic has heaped pressure on an already challenged sector.
Boris Johnson pledged to “fix the crisis in social care” in his first speech after being elected in July 2019, announcing plans more than two years later in September.
Our vision for #socialcare will help people live independently for longer and includes:✅ more supported housing✅ new technology to improve care ✅ additional training and qualifications for the workforce Find out more 👇 https://t.co/doykkx8b1V https://t.co/zHas42VY2Z
— Gillian Keegan (@GillianKeegan) December 1, 2021
The Government wants to protect people from “unpredictable and potentially catastrophic care costs”, bring the health and care systems closer together and strengthen the workforce.
– What has the Government previously announced?
In September the Government set out plans to shake up the way care is funded.
It is proposing to introduce an £86,000 lifetime cap from October 2023, funded through a health and social care levy based on tax contributions.
This pools risk for the proportion that would face substantial care costs, and means nobody will need to pay more than this amount in their lifetime.
It also announced a more generous means-tested system.
People with assets up to £20,000 will not have to contribute anything to their care (up from £14,250), while those with assets to £100,000 will be eligible to receive some local authority support (up from £23,250).
Once the cap is reached, the Government will take over paying for the person’s care.
– What money is going to social care?
Over the next three years, £5.4 billion from the £36 billion health and social care levy will go towards social care.
The sector will start receiving this from the 2022-23 financial year.
The Government says more will go to social care after the three years but it is not yet clear how much.
Of the social care pot, £3.6 billion will fund the previously announced cap on care costs, more generous means test, and help councils pay a fair cost of care.
The remaining £1.7 billion will go towards improving social care in England.
– What is the latest update?
The Government has published a long-awaited white paper setting out its vision for social care over the next decade.
It wants people to have more choice and say over the care they receive, to be able to live at home for longer, for the workforce to feel valued and for unpaid carers to be better supported.
A new practical repair service will help older and disabled people live for longer with their families or independently in their own homes.
They will get more money to enable adaptations such as stairlifts, wet rooms and home technologies.
The paper details how around £1 billion of the £1.7 billion will be spent over the next three years.
-£500 million investment in the workforce
-At least £300 million to increase the range of supported housing
-At least £150 million to drive greater adoption of technology, such as motion sensors
-Up to £25 million to change the services that support unpaid carers and increase respite access
How the remainder will be spent will be set out in due course, the Government said.
– What’s the reaction?
Many groups have welcomed the Government’s vision for social care, saying there is much to like and praising the Government for its “great ambition”.
The social care white paper is the foundation upon which to build modern care choices for all. It reflects the contributions of care leaders who helped shape it. What we need now is a bridge to that brighter future & address the immediate winter crisis.PR https://t.co/S0PjFcyHez pic.twitter.com/KlA3W9DiJw
— ADASS (@1adass) December 1, 2021
But they also said the funding is insufficient and more money is urgently needed if its ambitions are to be realised.
They also said the proposals do nothing to address the immediate pressures as a challenging winter approaches.
These include serious workforce challenges, growing unmet need and a fragile provider market.