As the 2017 General Election proved, the majority of the public are not aware of their responsibility for covering their social care costs, or the likelihood of it happening to them. Likewise, the UK Government has been commissioning a series of assessments of social care funding over the last twenty years to explore how best to balance individual and state responsibility for these costs. With the ‘Freedom and Choice’ pension agenda allowing individuals to access their retirement savings more easily and the NHS increasingly under budgetary strain, it is essential that Government reform the system as soon as possible to clarify what individuals, providers, and Government will be expected to pay so that they can prepare accordingly.
Recent developments in the Social Care Landscape
In 2010, the Government set up the Commission on Funding of Care and Support (Dilnot Commission) to evaluate how best to achieve an affordable and sustainable social care system. Since then:
- On 4 July 2011, the Dilnot Commission published its recommendations for the funding of social care.
- In 2014, Government introduced some of those reforms but announced in 2015 that the introduction of a £72,000 cap on lifetime costs and change in the means testing threshold would be deferred until 2020.
- In 2017, Government pledged to publish a Green Paper on social care. After various delays, this paper is now due to be published in autumn 2018 following the announcement that a ten-year plan for the NHS would be developed.
Explore our policy briefings below where we assess previously proposed financial products, caps and reforms for social care costs and recommend a solution as a means of social insurance to help individuals adequately prepare for later life.
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