Dilnot encouraged by LTC funding engagement

Andrew Dilnot says he is encouraged by commitments from Labour and the Prime Minister that they will work together to find a way forward on long term care funding.

Yesterday, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham and a spokesman for the Prime Minister committed to “constructive engagement” over the future of long term care funding. The comments came after 47 organisations including the Association of British Insurers and various charities and unions published an open letter calling for consensus on the issue.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Dilnot, who chaired the Commission into Long Term Care Funding says its proposals are widely supported in Parliament and that a vital cross-party agreement looks like a possibility.

He says: “There would need to be strong cross-party agreement, but I think there is a real chance of that. If you look at what the various parties have said, they have all recognised that we have to do something. Doing nothing is not an option, and there is not a cheaper and more effective way of making the kind of change we all think is necessary.”

The Department of Health is expected to publish a white paper for the Social Care bill alongside a progress report into LTC funding by April. Providers have raised concerns that this separation could see the funding aspect sidelined. Dilnot has said the Government has a moral duty to deliver his commission’s proposals.

The Dilnot Commission’s report, published in July, calls for a cap on individuals’ lifetime contributions to social care costs of between £25,000 and £50,000, with £35,000 the recommended figure. When that cap is reached, people would be eligible for full state support.