It is a few months since I wrote about the proposals for the ‘Care Cap’ introduced in the Care Act 2014. I said they were of little use to us in Cumbria and would probably be booted into the long grass anyway. Well, the government have now conceded that the Care Cap is being abandoned, but not to worry as they are going to consult and produce a report! Oh, that old chestnut.
On the 7th of December, Jackie Doyle-Price (Under-Secretary of State for Health) acknowledged that ‘an ageing society means that we need to reach a longer-term sustainable settlement for social care’. Well, we all agree with that, but they need to get their skates on if they are to meet their own deadline of summer 2018 to set out their proposals.
It is not an easy subject and Doyle-Price acknowledged that the Government will ‘take the time needed to debate the many complex issues and listen to the perspectives of experts and care users, building consensus around reforms which can succeed’.
She did confirm that ‘reforms to the care system and how it is paid for are to be considered in the round’ and that ‘the consultation will include proposals to place a limit on the care costs that individuals face’.
Good! I just hope it is something which is fair to us in our less ‘asset rich’ area and is not based on the much wealthier regions where the cost of one house could buy a full street back here in Barrow. There needs to be some perspective and capping care fees at, say, £100,000 is not much good to someone who has only £100,000 to start with.
The speech was well written and set out what we all want to see- ‘Getting social care right means a better system that everyone can have confidence in, in which all people understand their responsibilities, can prepare for the future, and know that the care they receive will be to a high standard and help them maintain their independence and wellbeing. This Government want to take the time to consult and build consensus on a long-term, sustainable settlement for the future, which includes looking at the quality of care being delivered, the funding of the system, and how it will be paid for in the round’.
Oh I hope so. But I worry that the smell of chestnuts on an open fire will continue long in to the future. ?