Care service review is delay tactic, says Saga

Specialist advice firm Equity Care welcomes the commission to review funding for long-term care but Saga warns the move is just delaying decisions that need to be taken urgently.

Equity Care chief executive Tim Eadon says that it would have been wrong for new care services minister Paul Burstow not to review the white paper published by the Labour Government in its final months. The commission will report within a year.

Eadon says: “Over recent years, much has been done in reviewing the social care system by both the previous Government and important thinktanks, such as the Kings Fund and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

“The last Government left a rushed blueprint for reform in the Building a National Care Service white paper. It would have been wrong for the new coalition not to review it but this should be completed speedily.

“In the meantime, older people and their families must struggle on, being denied the care and support they need, whether it is to pay for care at home or where they are continually forced to sell their property when they move into a residential or nursing home.”

Saga is supporting proposals to give more help to carers through personal budgets and increased respite care but has slammed plans for a commission, claiming that it will delay the “urgently required” decisions about the future of social care funding.

Editor-at-large of Saga Magazine Emma Soames says: “The Government is already in possession of a widely researched green paper, the Wanless commission report and a white paper.

“Its stated intention that payment should be shared between the individual and the state sends a clear signal to the commission.

“We acknowledge this is a highly complex issue but the options have already been widely explored. We hope that a deadline for delivery will be swift to ensure security for so many older people already providing or facing a future requiring different levels of care.”