“A starting point for care reforms – but will a two tier system emerge?” C&C calls on government to agree a fair funding model across the care sector
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement to cap care costs in England at £86,000 and this week's House of Commons vote on raising National Insurance contributions, Sharon Bye, Director of Care at Central and Cecil (C&C), said:
“After far too long out of the spotlight, it’s good to finally see that a government wants to tackle the issue of care funding, and the Prime Minister’s proposals on capping fees has certainly provided a starting point.
“However, the extra money generated by the National Insurance hike must lead to an agreed fair funding for care. Currently, not enough funding is being passed on by Local Authorities already under tremendous financial pressures themselves.
“Under this new system, if no-one needs to pay more than £86,000 themselves, then effectively most of the care system becomes state funded. This introduces greater risk to care providers such as C&C, if fees do not match up with costs and future investment.
“Furthermore, there is a strong potential to end up with a two or even three tier system, whereby Local Authorities pay for a very basic care service, and those with more money ‘top up’ for extras that are available to them. You could be in a bizarre situation in a single care home, where one resident watches another enjoying all sorts of extras, and staff members have to discern between the levels of support they provide because of funding capabilities, not care needs.
“We need far more fundamental reform of social care to ensure that there is full cost recovery for care providers, equality in funding for different types of care, and that our colleagues are recognised for their work with a funding and fee structure which enables better pay rates and funding for specialist training.”