Recommendations by the Dilnot Commission were published on Monday 4 July 2011.
The commission has put forward recommendations to resolve the problem including an increase of funding to accommodate for the growing need for care.
The recommendations are:
- Increase the means tested threshold to £100,000 for those needing residential care
- Eligibility criteria for service entitlement should be set on a standardised national basis. This would improve consistency, fairness and allow people more freedom to move without impacting on the care they receive
- Put a cap on costs so people only need to pay for the first chunk of their care. It is suggested the amount be between £25,000 and £50,000 with the ideal amount being £35,000. The commission predicts this means no-one loses more than thirty per cent of their assets to care costs
- Those who enter adulthood already with a need for care and support should immediately be eligible for free state support
- The government should devote greater resources to the adult social care system and resources made available for adult social care should be more transparent. Also, any period review of local government financing should take into account the importance of the sustainability of funding for adult social care
Community care has warned social workers that they play a crucial role in helping and informing people about the new system. Also, if the national eligibility system is adopted social workers will have to use their own judgment when assessing access to care.
- Read more about the role of Social Workers in this article from Community care.
In a speech to the King’s Fund Paul Burstow explained the shame that the elderly have become a burden when in fact we should be celebrating that people are living longer. He goes on to explain the system and the proposed changes.
- Read more about the King’s Fund’s response to the Dilnot report and listen to audio of Paul Burstow MP discussing it
The Observer outlines the current social care system and the proposed changes in depth.
In the report the Dilnot Commission claim the current system is unfair, confusing and unsustainable. People are unable to plan ahead and meet future care needs. It restricts where people can live and means their assets are lost.
However, the proposed changes are estimated to cost the state an extra £1.7billion a year which could lead to rises in council tax and money cut from other departments to fund the changes.
The Guardian has reported on the £1.7bn cost outlining how the government do like the report but say it comes with a cost. Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, warned people to not accept the changes immediately but they do provide a good basis for discussion, especially the impact the changes will have on tax-payers.
These changes are crucial to accommodate for the rising need of care and to make the system fairer but money is the ultimate concern.
- The BBC discuss this issue on their website.
Community Care have collated reactions to the Dilnot report. They claim it has gone down well but the cap on social care costs has not been so well received by all.
- The full article and reactions by the cheerleaders, the worriers, the sceptics and the opponents can be read on the Community Care website.