The way social care is funded in Great Britain is a ‘stain on us as a nation’, according to the man who was tasked by David Cameron to reform the system.
Speaking in front of a group of MPs last week, economist and care expert Sir Andrew Dilnot admitted ‘we just don’t spend enough money on care’.
‘Right now, the funding of social care is inadequate,’ he told the health and social care select committee.
‘It is inadequate for the means-tested system that simply looks after those who cannot look after themselves—we are not putting enough money into that—and that is a stain on us as a nation,’ added Sir Andrew.
‘We also have a social care funding system that does not help the rest of the population who have some resource to prepare and look after themselves well.’
Sir Andrew was originally asked by the-then prime minister David Cameron in 2010 to lead a commission on reforming social care funding.
The main recommendation from the commission was a cap on social care costs of £35,000, but it was never implemented by ministers.
‘In all kinds of ways, we have a system that does not work, does not look after the people who need it well, does not look after those who are providing the care well and does not provide an industry that is attractive to move into,’ Sir Andrew told the MPs.
‘Reform is due now. It has been due for many years, but now seems like a really appropriate time to act.’
He also described the ongoing boundaries between the NHS and social care as ‘problematic’.
‘We have seen that again in the last few months. We hear a lot of discussion about delayed transfers of care.
‘It is certainly the case that delayed transfers of care are inefficient for the system. They increase costs in the NHS, but they are also inefficient for the potential care recipient.
‘By and large, you can have a much better quality of life and much better care, if it is social care that you need, outside the health service than in a hospital. Improving things there will certainly help the NHS as well as helping individual consumers,’ added Sir Andrew.
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