You are here

Elderly must not have to sell homes to fund care

Law reforms to meet later life care aims, and new flat-rate pensions listed in Queen's speech

22 May 2013

Add comment

People in England whose care provider goes out of business are to be protected and given a legal entitlement to a personal care budget, under a new bill announced in the Queen's speech in May.

The Care and Support Bill introduces a £72,000 cap on social care costs and gives carers the legal right to support from their local council.

"Legislation will be introduced to reform the way long-term care is paid for to ensure the elderly do not have to sell their homes to meet their care bills," the Queen said in her address.

An Ofsted-style rating system will be used for hospitals and care homes and the chief inspector of hospitals is to be given new powers of intervention.

Two new public bodies are being launched, Health Education England and the Health Research Authority, to provide additional training and support for health professionals.

Age UK's charity director general Michelle Mitchell said: "We welcome the care bill as having the potential to transform our crumbling, unfair social care system.

"But for the government's vision to succeed we must see the legislation twinned with both an emergency injection of funds to stop the system spiralling further into crisis, and a commitment that everyone assessed as having so-called moderate needs is given access to the system."

Also, from April 2016, the Pensions Bill stipulates a single-tier state pension - replacing the current two-tier system of a basic state pension and earnings-related top-up - and brings forward the retirement age increase.

One giant leap for care, says Chris Horlick

“The care bill is one small step towards a giant leap for both government and consumers. This bill will modernise the previously fragmented law so that it prioritises individuals’ well­being and enables those in need to get sufficient support.

“Arguably, the biggest challenge is funding and the bill will therefore create a cap on care costs and extend the means­test threshold for financial assistance.

“The cap is to be welcomed but it is essential that people understand what it does and does not cover. While the intricacies of the legislation may come as a shock to some, they will, at the very least, provide a framework in
which to plan.

“Some 43 per cent of all care home residents fund all their costs themselves. Therefore, financial planning is vital. We are campaigning for the bill to mandate referral to regulated financial advice when, under the new system, they contact their council to access care services.”

Chris Horlick is managing director of care at Partnership

Categorised in:

Vulnerable Clients Pensions