Government postpones decision on future funding model for social care

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 12 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4776
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has agreed with the Dilnot review’s recommendations for reforming funding of social care but has refused to commit to implementing them.

On 11 July the government set out its proposals for reforming social care in its white paper, Caring for our future: reforming care and support,1 the draft Care and Support Bill,2 and a progress report on funding reform.3

Last year a government commissioned review of potential funding models, chaired by economist Andrew Dilnot, recommended that the threshold of assets an individual might have before they can access state support for social care should be raised from £23 250 (€29 500; $35 900) to £100 000. The review also said that the amount any individual has to pay towards their own care costs during their lifetime should be capped.4

The review proposed a cap of between £25 000 and £50 000, with £35 000 recommended as an “appropriate and fair figure” after which they would be eligible for full state support. Dilnot estimated that a £35 000 cap would cost the government about £1.7bn a year and said the current system was “confusing, unfair, and unsustainable,” did not enable people to plan for their future care needs, and forced many older people to sell their …

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