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Dilnot commission 'to recommend partnership model'

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The Dilnot Commission on care funding will recommend a partnership model when it reports later this year, one of its members has revealed.

Lord Norman Warner told a social care conference that the only question to be resolved was the balance of state and individual funding in the system to proposed to address the nation’s financial and demographic care-funding crisis.

The Labour peer, who sits with Dame Jo Williams on the panel chaired by Prof Andrew Dilnot, told a Westminster Health Forum that it was time to begin narrowing down the options.

“It is clear that any model that comes out of the commission is going to be a partnership model ,” he said. “That is absolutely clear. We should now get away from the view that it can be state or all individuals.”

“What an optimum mix of resources - public/private - is, we are going to do a bit more work on that.”

Lord Warner’s use of the phrase “partnership” is likely to focus attention on the extent to which the panel will recommend a system echoing Sir Derek Wanless’ “partnership model” in his landmark 2006 King’s Fund report Securing Good Care for Older People: taking a long term view.

Lord Warner was resolute that the panel would meet its July deadline to report back to government with its recommendations.

But he stressed the danger that poor levels of public knowledge of care entitlements and funding could jeopardise the implementation of a workable solution to England’s care-funding crisis.

Lord Warner said it was evident from submissions to the commission’s call for evidence that the public did “not have a balanced view” and that the government and opposition politicians would need to properly raise the issue’s profile to move forward.

“If we can’t get buy-in for the ideas that come out of the commission, we’ll be bedevilled,” he said.

“Politicians can only behave well if they have a good understanding of where public opinion is.”

When that wasn’t clear, politicians could be forgiven, he said.

Lord Warner also suggested that people’s housing wealth was likely to be referred to in the commission’s recommendations.

“I think it would be impossible for the commission to come up with a credible report without dealing with the issue of people’s assets and the extent to which their assets are liquid or illiquid,” he said.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has predicted that the number of people with care needs is expected to increase by 1.7m over the next 20 years.

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