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LONG-TERM CARE FUNDING SYSTEM IN URGENT NEED OF REFORM

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Inescapable evidence of the need for urgent reform of a long-term care funding system that is inequitable, incohere...
Inescapable evidence of the need for urgent reform of a long-term care funding system that is inequitable, incoherent and financially unsustainable, is provided in yesterday's report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The jkldfjdklfjdklfjdklfjdsklfjdsklfjdskl;fjdklsfjdsklfjdsklfjdklsfjdklsfjdsklfjdsklfjdklsfjdklsfjdklsfjdsklfjdsklfjdsklfjdsklfjdsklfjdsklfjdsklfjdslfkdsklfjkldsreport confirms the findings of last month's report from the Wanless Social Care Review, that fundamental reforms and more resources are needed.

Today's and tomorrow's older people deserve no less than a radical review of how growing care needs can be met. But the size of the work ahead must not daunt the working group appointed recently by the care services minister to review social care funding. Today's JRF report proposes five affordable, practical solutions that could make improvements now. CCC urges the government to include JRF proposals within the comprehensive spending review, while working towards fundamental reform in the longer term.

CCC (formerly known as Continuing Care Conference) chairman Clive Bowman said:

'Today's report is a testament to the quality and breadth of research undertaken by JRF over more than three years. JRF and Wanless have done us all a great service by asking the right questions, marshalling the evidence and presenting clear, costed options for reform. We now need open, honest debate and then bold decision-making by government.'

Reacting to the evidence from JRF's consumer research confirming that many people favour a strategy of disposing of assets so that they qualify for state support, Dr Bowman added:

'We need to find a way of paying for care that makes the most of all available sources of investment, public and private. Failure now by government to address the key issue of sustainable funding for care and fair access to care of a high quality will prove more costly both in human and financial terms.'

The five proposals from JRF are:

1. Pilot a voluntary Equity Release Scheme for home-based care

2. Double the capital threshold for care home support

3. Double the personal expenses allowance for people supported by local authorities in care homes

4. Charge all care home residents for non-care costs and redistribute the proceeds

5. Review the basis of Attendance Allowance

Notes

On 30 March 2006, the care services minister, Liam Byrne, responded to the Wanless Report by announcing a review of social care and establishing a working group, whose work will inform the department's plans for social care funding, which will be submitted to the Treasury as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2007.

The Best Care Possible?, CCC's long-term care policy healthcheck, identifies a wide range of issues and outlines measures needed to enable people to get the best care possible to meet their needs.

CCC is a broad-based, independent coalition of commercial, charitable and public service organisations with a shared interest in providing better long-term care for older people. CCC has been acting as an advocate for managed change since it was established in 1992 as the Continuing Care Conference with the objectives of:

oincreasing awareness and developing understanding of long-term care of older people as a political issue

oraising the standards of care available to older people

odeveloping the standards of financial products used to fund long-term care

CCC believes that all older people in Britain should live their lives in dignity, comfort and in a place of their choosing. We want all elements of society to make the necessary individual and social investment to ensure that happens. Our task is to ensure that policy-makers pursue this goal and to encourage the public to join with us in our mission to persuade them to do so.

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