- Friday, 12 October 2012
The Dilnot proposals for reforming care funding are so flawed that the government should look at alternatives to fund better care for our ageing population, according to a new paper published today (12 October 2012) by social enterprise United for All Ages.
The paper is published as the coalition government appears to have stalled on reforming care funding following resistance from the Treasury.
The ‘Ten Dilnot Flaws’ paper calls for a national health and care system funded by taxation. Integrating health and care would deliver better care for older and disabled people, while saving resources by using more appropriate care in or near the home rather than expensive hospital or residential care.
A new health and care system could be funded from these savings; by diverting spending from other areas; by taxing universal benefits for older people; or by a new care duty on estates of wealthier older people.
Ten Dilnot Flaws warns against the country ‘sleep-walking’ into accepting Dilnot for lack of an alternative, despite multiple problems with its recommendations.
The paper sets out ten reasons why Dilnot is flawed:
- Dilnot makes the current complex care system even more complicated
- Dilnot’s care cap is a misnomer – costs would be higher for many people
- Dilnot does not bring much extra cash into the care system
- Dilnot would not meet current unmet needs let alone growing demands in the future
- Dilnot would create a new financial industry with millions more insurance transactions
- Dilnot does not promote prevention
- Dilnot does not promote integration of care and health
- Dilnot is about protecting the assets of wealthier families
- Dilnot doesn’t explain how its reforms should be paid for
- Dilnot is bad enough; a voluntary Dilnot-lite reform would be even worse
As well as proposing the integration of health and care over the next four years, the paper suggests some immediate steps to address the care crisis. These include raising the assets threshold for paying for care to £250,000; introducing universal deferred payments; making specialist financial advice easy to access; and extra support for carers.
Stephen Burke, director of United for All Ages and the Good Care Guide, said: “It shouldn’t be surprising that the coalition government has not committed funding to implement the Dilnot recommendations given that they are fundamentally flawed. Why would the Treasury in austere times agree to protect wealthier families’ inheritances when we need more funding for growing unmet care needs?
“Dilnot is not the answer but there is a real danger that the country is sleep-walking into accepting it. All the parties should look at alternatives that are simpler fairer and more sustainable.
“An integrated health and care system would better meet the needs of individual older people and save substantial resources by developing better care and support outside hospitals and residential care. This could be the equivalent of the creation of the NHS for the 21st century to support our ageing population. If the political will is there, government could find the necessary funding to make it happen. If action isn’t taken, older people and their families will increasingly be left to struggle on their own.”
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