In light of the government’s promise to publish a Green Paper on social care, the Institute of Public Policy Research has proposed in a new report a 2p tax rise in order to fund free help for elderly. This would include help with basic tasks such as getting up and eating, as well as funding full time care for complex needs such as dementia.
The report compares social care to the NHS model. NHS services are free at the point of access whereas the funding of social care is means tested. The report makes the point that funding for social care has been cut drastically over recent years and that private providers are struggling, meaning that care provision is often fragmented and uncoordinated.
The report proposes three steps to transform elderly care, these being:
- Introduce free personal care for the over 65s in England
- Full funding for free personal care
- Join up health and social care.
The report highlights many obvious benefits to this such as avoiding hospital admissions. What the report doesn’t deal with is where the current private care sector would fit in this model. And the report doesn’t deal explicitly with how to fund staffing for this free provision of care, especially in view of the fact that private care providers can struggle with staffing in light of the impact for example of the Living Wage and the availability of staff.
Further information on the report is available here: https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/social-care-free-at-the-point-of-need
Authored by associate Jennifer Johnston, BLM