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Social Care Costs : Government & LA News / Plans / Actions - Page 6 - Carers UK Forum

Social Care Costs : Government & LA News / Plans / Actions

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
83 posts
Agreed, but as carers, surely when our time comes to need care, surely there should be some recognition of what we have done already? Maybe a year's exemption from charging for each year of caring?!
There could be several ways to " Reward " or " Partially exempt " our contribution.

Added to our Lord Kitch , certaintly worthy of discussion in the forthcoming Carers' Strategy ... to which none of us will be invited for our suggestions / views / recommendations ... so much for democracy ?

For some readers , the " Caring " element does not stop when our caree enters a NHS hospital / care home ... a new set of problems worthy of separate chapters whenever the " True History of Carers in the 20th. / 21st. Century " is written ... in volumes ?

One major stubbling block is that OUR voice is never heard ... we have to rely on all in the social care food chain who make the decisions.

And , like the NHS , virtually all those making the REAL decisions have never experienced life as it is for the vast majority of the population using the NHS / providing social care daily.

Whatever .... that iceberg is getting closer.

Call / raise or ... fold ?
It would be good if Carers UK got involved. Oh, look, Flying Pigs and the Red Arrows overhead!!!!!!!!!!!
Probably more believable ... we are STILL waiting for their report from the meeting earlier this year.

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... 20strategy

Only OUR future ... not theirs ... they will still function provided the donations keep rolling in.

Even then , when considering that close to / just above 100,000 of our fellow carers had to resort to food banks last year ... with every prospect of that number increasing ... there is now a clear choice for any person making a donation that " Really matters " ... food / heat today or pie in the sky tomorrow ???

Where would they be without us to pat on the head .... occasionly ?
An article from the Guardian on just where we are with " Social Care " which can be shoe horned into this thread :

https://www.theguardian.com/social-care ... crisis?CMP

Without a clear strategy, adult social care will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis.

The government’s promised consultation offers an opportunity to draw up a system fit for our complex 21st-century society.

A snippet from the full article :
Not that long ago, Theresa May described a vision for Britain that included “the first ever proper plan to pay for and provide social care”. Since the election row about the Conservatives’ manifesto proposals, the issue has slipped off the political radar, sparking fresh fears that despite the commitment to publish a green paper, it had returned to the fabled long grass. But the care services minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, told a fringe event at the Conservative party conference last week that the “consultation” will be published in the new year.

Whether it’s a consultation or a green paper, the timing and content are much more important than what the document is called. So what should we expect from it – and what can we learn from the procession of 12 white and green papers and other consultations over the last 20 years?

The first and perhaps most important task is to begin to flesh out a long-term plan for a social care system fit for our complex 21st-century society. What we call social care today was never properly addressed as part of the original welfare state and we have spent almost 70 years muddling through: means testing that has barely changed since 1948; traditional services that remain largely untroubled by the technology and innovation that have transformed many other aspects of our lives; staff vacancy and turnover rates that are among the highest in the economy.

The fault lines between social care, housing, the benefits system and the NHS mean people often struggle to get the support they need. We have sleepwalked into a reliance on the independent sector for over 90% of care. A diverse range of providers brings benefits – but how to manage the consequences of market failure has been an afterthought. The public generally remain clueless about their likely need for care and how much they might have to pay for it – until it is too late.

These deep-seated problems demand a long-term strategy, not another wave of short-term initiatives. There are plenty of local examples of good social care that could help shape a new approach.

NOTE : no mention of our contribution / role in all this !

Not surprising as said article is written by an academic.

Needless to say , conclusion is the same as mine .... down to our politicians to take off their Party hats / bonnets and ... sort it out !!!
Today's Guardian ... Labour's response to Jackie Doyle - Price's comments that homes should not be viewed as assets but be used to fund care costs as a priority :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... ty-remarks

Homes are not assets to be passed on to children, says minister.

Labour says Jackie Doyle-Price resurrected ‘dementia tax’ by saying taxpayer should not ‘prop up’ people with care needs.

Homes should not be seen as assets for parents to pass to their children, a Conservative minister has said in new footage recorded from the party’s conference, which Labour said resurrected the idea of a “dementia tax”.

The social care minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, told a fringe meeting that many older people were “sitting in homes that really are too big for their needs” and said the party was still looking to make reforms to the funding of social care.

“The reality is that the taxpayer shouldn’t necessarily be propping up people to keep their property and hand it on to their children when they’re generating massive care needs,” she told the Social Market Foundation fringe in footage released by the Labour party.

“We’ve got to a stage where people feel that they are the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring … They shouldn’t be seen as that.”

Later in the same meeting, she added: “We are very much looking at, when the review comes up, we will be looking at the whole issue of caps and floors.”

Doyle-Price, who is MP for Thurrock, said the younger generation should not be expected to fund care for pensioners when there were already huge pressures on their finances.

“Those of us who are fortunate to have gone through university without paying anything, fortunate enough to have then bought our own homes, have been able to build up a level of wealth,” she said.

“But actually current people coming through the universities, who are going to be funding, looking after us after we have retired, have not had those advantages, and fundamentally it’s unfair to expect them to pay their own taxes to deal with that.”

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who is visiting a community centre in Shipley on Thursday, said it was “appalling” the Conservatives still expected people with dementia to sell their homes to pay for care. During the visit, Corbyn will set out Labour’s plans to establish a national care service and invest an extra £8bn in social care.

“The idea of a ‘dementia tax’ was rightly rejected by the public during the general election,” Corbyn said. “It can’t be right that if you have a heart condition you’re treated on the NHS but if you have dementia you have to pay with your home.

“This is further proof that the Conservatives are yesterday’s party, with no plan to fix our country’s problems.”

The so-called “dementia tax” in the Conservative manifesto caused an immediate backlash when the party committed to “means-testing for domiciliary care” including “the value of the family home along with other assets and income” and separately “a single capital floor, set at £100,000” so that “people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets”.

In a tense press conference during the campaign, just days after the manifesto launch, Theresa May U-turned on the policy by promising an “absolute limit” on the amount people would have to pay for their care, without specifying an amount. The prime minister insisted it was only a clarification and that “nothing has changed”.

Carry on point scoring , it's in your genes !

For a lone carer / caree living together in their own home ... caree enters care home , eventually aborbing all equity , then dies ... what of the carer who may now be retired with only the basic state pension coming in ?

Meanwhile the underlying Issue millions want resolved remains ... in limbo.

Comments section at the bottom ... really buzzing.
More from Jackie Doyle-Price as so reported in the Basildon / Canvey / Southend Echo ( Thanks to Carers Radio ! ) :

http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/1559442 ... l_care___/

‘Time to sell homes to pay for social care’

A conservative minister has been filmed controversially backing the so-called “dementia tax” reforms proposed during the last election.

Video footage shows Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price saying that when it came to their homes, people saw themselves as “the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring” and that “they shouldn’t be seen as that”.

The minister said “propping up” people to keep their own homes while they were generating “massive” care costs.

In the footage, Thurrock MP Ms Doyle-Price says: “The reality is that the taxpayer shouldn’t necessarily be propping up people to keep their property and hand it on to their children when they’re generating massive care needs.

“We’ve got to a stage where people feel that they are the custodian of an asset to give to their offspring but actually we need to get back to a stage where actually homes are for living in - they shouldn’t be seen as that.”

She added: “People are now well into their pension ages sitting in homes that really are too big for their needs and we really do need to start having those conversations about what’s appropriate earlier.”

The Conservatives manifesto proposal for elderly people to pay for their care costs, dubbed the “dementia tax” was seen as one of the key factors behind the loss of Theresa May’s Commons majority in June’s election.

The plans prompted an outcry even within Conservatives ranks, with Southend Council leader John Lamb roundly denouncing the policy.

Speaking yesterday, Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West said: “Social care is very much an issue at the forefront of many residents’ minds that I represent in Southend West. This is simply because of the large number of senior citizens in my constituency.

“What I would welcome is a national debate on the issue and whilst this is a very difficult subject, whenever you talk about someone’s property and inheritance, we need a big conversation and then to try and get all the political parties to come to some consensus on the issue.”

Jean Howes from the Southend District Pensioners’ Campaign group said: “We are campaigning for provision for social care at a national level rather than a local level so there will be equal services for all. At the moment it is a postcode lottery. Social care should be funded by taxation. If we want proper care income tax has to be increased. Social care is close to collapse if we don’t fund it properly.

“Most people, when you look at tax, have got to pay a little bit more to pay for better quality of care. At least this has opened the debate on how we pay for social care. There needs to be a national standard or social care will fall of the edge of a cliff.”

Another one to cross off the guest speaker list at the next Carers UK agm ???
The plans prompted an outcry even within Conservatives ranks, with Southend Council leader John Lamb roundly denouncing the policy.

Oh dear , council elections coming up shortly , only a wafer thin majority to protect ?
This morning's Guardian ... Care Home providers / LAs have their say on the proposed financial thresholds muted by the Government :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/20 ... ncils-warn

We cannot afford to fund 'dementia tax' proposals, councils warn.

Tory leaders say care home providers could face collapse if financial threshold for state support is increased.

Conservative council leaders have warned that county councils cannot afford to be hit by a £308m rise in care home costs if controversial social care plans dubbed the “dementia tax” go ahead.

Tory-dominated shire councils have warned they cannot afford the extra burden of the manifesto proposal that would offer state support to people with assets of £100,000 or less – a sharp increase on the current £23,250.

The County Councils Network (CCN), which represents the 37 county councils, said new analysis showed raising the threshold would push far more people into state care than local authorities could fund under current budgets.

Colin Noble, the Conservative leader of Suffolk council, said the care home system was propped up by private fee payers, who could be paying up to twice as much as council clients.

If more people qualified for state support – and care home providers received the lower council rates – many providers could be pushed towards bankruptcy, Noble said.

“Substantial reductions to social care budgets have left councils with little choice but to negotiate lower fees for their taxpayers’ money, but this means the system is being propped up by private fee payers,” he said. “This is clearly unsustainable, with many care home providers at a very real risk of collapse.”

A typical private residential self-funder pays £797 a week for care, while the local authority typically pays £543, a 46% subsidy, according to the CCN analysis.

Noble said local care providers were under acute pressure, and reforms which meant more people qualified for state support could “inadvertently push care homes closer to financial crisis” without additional funding from government to close the gap.

He said the additional cash for social care announced by the Treasury in March was not enough to tackle the issue. “The government should use the autumn budget to inject further cash into the system: with counties’ funding black hole in social care alone projected to reach £1.6bn by 2021, we will not be in a position to raise fees [that councils pay to care providers].”

Martin Tett, the Conservative leader of Buckinghamshire county council, said he shared the concerns. “The principle that those who have the assets should contribute to their care is not unreasonable, but clearly if more people are qualifying for council-funded care, we in local government will regard that as a new burden and absolutely insist on the need for more funding,” Tett told the Guardian.

“Councils are already under substantial pressure on adult social care, particularly in the north, where there are more people eligible for state-funded care.

“If we get to a situation where the cross-subsidy of the care home sector by private residents is more imbalanced, that could destabilise the sector,” he said.

The CCN’s analysis, by independent consultants LaingBuisson, found the gap between private fees and council fees had reached £670m a year across all 37 county councils, which represent a total of 26m people.

The increase in the number of people who would qualify for state care under the proposals would cost county councils an additional £308m a year, the report suggested.

Noble said he did not deny the system was in need of reform. “While limiting catastrophic care costs is important, the much more fundamental question is how we pay for it,” he said. “We need an honest and open conversation with the public, we must make sure that the promised social care green paper is not kicked into the long grass.”

Pre-election plans for changes to social care were thought to have been dropped by the government after they were poorly received during the general election campaign, but a Conservative minister recently resurrected the idea of asking people to contribute more to the cost of care.

The social care minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, told a Conservative conference fringe meeting the party was still looking to reform the funding of social care and that people’s homes should not be seen “as an asset to give to their offspring”.

The government has indicated that an adult social care green paper is likely to be published next year. Doyle-Price said the government “will be looking at the whole issue of caps and floors”.

This one will continue to roll ... and roll ...

Where will that ball drop ... red or black ... or on zero ?

Proposals galore but ... monies to fund ?

That the real question !

No easy answers to this one ...
Guardian again ... this time , their overall view on the whole circus ... and they don't pull any punches :

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -cowardice

The Guardian view on social care: the cost of cowardice.

For a generation, politicians have ducked the challenge of restructuring health and social care. But if they don’t act now it may be too late

The cost of social care is bankrupting local councils and threatening the NHS.

The latest study points out that any reform based, like the so-called dementia tax, on property values must take account of how different they are in the south of England compared with the north or with Wales. Last week, the normally ultra-cool NHS boss Simon Stevens told MPs on the health committee that its budget was “extremely challenging” and unless it was increased, the NHS might not be able to meet patient demand. With both health and social care budgets under such extreme pressure, it is no surprise that the two arms of care, instead of being locked in a protective embrace of those who should be able to rely on them, are engaged in the most bad-tempered wrestling that informed observers can remember.

Surveying the wreckage of seven years of austerity, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, is under instructions to find a headline-grabbing initiative in next month’s budget to redress the generation gap. The dementia tax may have been flawed, but some kind of windfall tax on the huge increase in house values enjoyed by many older voters is one answer, and seems still to be in the mix. At the Tory party conference, it has now emerged that the social care minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, repeated the argument that it was unfair if old people who lived in valuable houses had social care bills paid by the state.

There is no question that social care desperately needs more cash. In its budget submission, councillors argued that by 2020 councils in England will have lost £16bn of core funding. There will be a shortfall of nearly £6bn by the end of the decade, and despite the extra cash for social care that was released earlier this year partly to meet the cost of paying the higher living wage and partly to keep residential care homes afloat, £1bn of that will be in social care.

Councillors say there is not a penny of slack in care home budgets, where fees are so squeezed that without cross subsidy from private residents – sometimes of as much as 50% – some care homes would cease to be viable. Nor is there an argument about the role that councils have to play in making sure care packages are available so that people can be discharged from hospital.

But, as winter approaches, the pressure that government is putting on both the NHS and councils to enable patients to be discharged is driving to breaking point the tense relationship between the two different providers. While healthcare is free and social care is means-tested, it won’t heal.

This is not an insoluble problem. It is not all about money, although money is needed right now to keep the service afloat. As the economist Kate Barker said when she published her report for the thinktank the King’s Fund three years ago, there is a sustainable and affordable answer. But it would mean some structural reform and the gradual extension of free care, starting with critical care and extending to those with substantial needs as money became available.

It would mean a bigger bill for the taxpayer, but a much more coherent experience for patients and their carers. It would end the disputes between NHS and local government over who pays for what, and it would reward cooperation. In Manchester, where integrated health and social care is already being pioneered across the region, the mayor Andy Burnham – a former Labour health secretary – is already pressing Mr Hammond to allow him to raise a levy that would enable him to introduce free social care and joint budgets. Mr Hammond should listen.

The crisis in social care has been predictable, and predicted, for a generation. The failure of successive governments to think clearly and build consensus around a solution is a bleak indictment of short-termist democracy. Like a patient too scared to see the doctor, their cowardly approach has allowed a complex but soluble problem to snowball into a threat to the welfare of thousands of Britons – and even to the sustainability of the NHS.

Follow that one ???

One article that does not need further comment !
Continuing the raising of Council Tax to fund social care theme ... well , raising CT anyway ?

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales ... s-13821824

More council tax, huge cuts to social care and new fines - Cardiff council's budget next year

A 3.7% council tax hike, huge cuts to social care and new fines are just some of the measures people living in Cardiff face next year.

The council has to cut £22.7m from its spending next year and residents have been warned to prepare for “difficult decisions” about where savings will come from.

The authority has published its list of areas where it suggests making savings.

The report, published today, shows it is considering plugging the budget gap by finding £14m of savings, adding £4.7m to the pot by upping council tax by a minimum 3.7% and spending £2.35m of its reserves.

A list of 101 ways that the council plan to save money has now been published for the public to have its say. That reveals:

Social care.

The biggest provisional cuts, however, are in social care.

A review of the Community Resource Team – which works to reduce the length of hospital stays and helps provide support in people’s houses – will take place in a bid to save £1.2m.

The council says that by helping more people become independent it can pay for less home care.

There will also be a change to the way any home care is delivered and a review of how and when people get social care reviews.

That would also save an estimated £1.2m.

Further savings in social services could come from changing the way care home placements are funded, saving £450,000, and reducing the number of people who get care home places, saving £300,000.

Under the proposals, there could also be a review of the amount that relatives have to pay towards care packages, to save the authority £820,000.

There's more but ... the SC element says enough !

Thanks to Carers Radio for that one ... sadists ?
83 posts