Jeremy Hunt, the Health and Social Care Secretary, has made a speech outlining the seven key principles for social care which will feature in a Green Paper expected to be published by Summer 2018. The principles, announced on World Social Work Day, are:
- Quality: focus on providing the highest standards of care.
- Whole-person integrated care: full integration of health and social care centred around the person.
- Control and choice: with self-directed support.
- Workforce centrality: respecting, developing and nurturing the social care workforce.
- Support for families and carers: making the needs of carers central to the new social care strategy.
- A sustainable funding model for social care: supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market, better able to offer people greater choice and more effective support.
- Security for all: to avoid current unfairnesses on how charging systems for social care operate. The stated aim is to introduce a more equitable approach to risk-pooling and communal / social insurance (along Dilnot principles, broadly). This is a historic moment in the official recognition of a longstanding social inequity / injustice:
“If you develop dementia and require long-term residential care, you are likely to have to use a significant chunk of your savings and the equity in your home to pay for that care. But if you require long-term treatment for cancer you won’t find anything like the same cost… People’s financial wellbeing in old age ends up defined less by their industry and service during their working lives, and more by the lottery of which illness they get”. Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
We need to do better on social care. [Speech]. London [Online]: Department of Health and Social Care, March 20th 2018.
Positive SCIE Response
Tony Hunter, Chief Executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), has issued a brief response:
Secretary of State’s speech on social care. SCIE response (20 March 2018). In: SCIELine Bulletin, 23 March 2018. [Online]: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), March 23rd 2018.
A Good Day to Bury Good News?
Contemporary, all very welcome, announcements by the Health Secretary on NHS pay, which may have diverted media attention and stolen the headlines:
Kuenssberg, L. (2018). NHS pay deal set to be signed off. London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, March 21st 2018.
Scotland: Frank’s Law
Possibly also of incidental interest:
The cost of dementia care; the history of saving and borrowing. London: BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, February 16th 2018.
Further BBC News commentary:
Triggle, N. (2018). Should we be forced to pay £30,000 for old-age care? London: BBC Health News, October 8th 2018.
Politically difficult decisions?:
Triggle, N. (2018). Can the government deliver on radical care reform? London: BBC Health News, November 8th 2018.
Proposals for Universal Care Entitlement With Optional Top-Up Annual Care Supplement
Interesting proposals, from Centre for Policy Studies, involving a Universal Care Entitlement similar to the state pension allowance (paid from taxation payable by persons over 50 years old). Extra funding would be raised through an Annual Care Supplement, involving homeowners making voluntary contributions of either £10,000, £20,000 or £30,000 optionally as a form of “insurance” against loosing their homes and family assets being wiped-out financially.
The King’s Fund estimates that the £2 billion to £3 billion raised be these suggestions might be insufficient to meet the £7 billion social care shortfall.
Social care: Homeowners urged to pay £30,000 towards care by downsizing. London: BBC Health News, April 29th 2019.
This relates to:
Damian Green MP (2019). Fixing the Care Crisis. London: Centre for Policy Studies, April 29th 2019.
There is also an Annex of international social care system comparisons.
Council Spending on Care For Over-65s Fell by a Quarter to £747 Per Head in England Since 2010
An illustration of blatant unfairness in the care system as it operates currently, with a BBC News postcode checker on local disparities in council funding for adult over-65s social care (aka the BBC Care Tool):
Triggle, N. (2018). ‘The NHS turned its back on mum – and it cost us £250,000’. London: BBC Health News, December 3rd 2018.
More “informed speculation”:
Pym, H. (2019). Social care ‘national scandal and disgrace’. London: BBC Health News, March 4th 2019.
August 2019 Update
A letter and petition was organised by the NHS Confederation:
Holt, A. (2019). Stop cuts to adult social care, petition urges. London: BBC Health News, August 14th 2019.
Continuity of Short-Term Government Grants for Councils?
Speculation on the likely problems from short-term funding, in the context of the Autumn spending review:
Triggle, N. (2019). Care services ‘at risk’ as funding doubts grow. London: BBC Health News, August 29th 2019.