The funding of adult social care in the UK has been the cause for concern for many years. In 2011, Andrew Dilnot’s Commission on Funding of Care and Support stated that “the adult social care funding system conceived in 1948 is not fit for purpose in the 21st century and is in urgent need of reform”.
Although the Care Act 2014 came into force in 2015, many of the necessary reforms have been postponed until 2020. The government had previously stated that the ‘Care Cap’ introduced in the Care Act 2014 would not be implemented until 2020.
Many people wondered if this would mean it would in effect be ‘kicked into the long grass’ and quietly be abandoned…
Wonder no more! The Care Cap will now NOT come into effect in 2020 or indeed at all.
In a Parliamentary Statement in the House of Commons on 7th December 2017 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jackie Doyle-Price), in response to the recent Opposition Day Debate on social care on Wednesday 25 October, gave more detail about the new Green Paper and the proposed stakeholder engagement.
As part of this she made the following statement:
“The Prime Minister has been clear that the consultation will include proposals to place a limit on the care costs that individuals face. To allow for fuller engagement and the development of the approach, and so that reforms to the care system and how it is paid for are considered in the round, we will not take forward the previous Government’s plans to implement a cap on care costs in 2020. Further details of the Government’s plans will be set out after we have consulted on the options. The Green Paper will focus primarily on reform of care for older people, but will consider elements of the adult care system that are common to all recipients of social care.”
Unfortunately, many people remain largely unaware that they may need care in their later years, and of what it will cost if they do need it.
As a result, few people make any provision for care costs. With the average cost of a residential care home with nursing care approaching £40,000 per annum, this can leave many people with a nasty shock if and when it happens.