Care reforms ‘a disappointment’

A WELFARE charity for the elderly and a hospice trust say proposed changes to social care are ‘disappointing’.

The long-awaited Social Care White Paper had been expected to announce a cap on how much people would have to pay for their own care, with economist Andrew Dilnot recommending a £35,000 cap.

That was meant to bring an end to pensioners who have scrimped and saved being forced to sell their own homes.

Instead, the Government announced plans for a loan scheme, with interest, to be repaid after people die.

Lobby groups had also hoped that there would be the announcement of an extra £2 billion for social care to help prevent OAPs ending up in hospital beds as a result of things like malnutrition.

Daphne Savage, chief executive of Age UK Suffolk, said: “It is extremely disappointing. There is no cap still and the average stay in a care home is for four years – that could cost them in excess of £100,000. This White Paper is a very minor step and the big issue of actual reforms to the care system has just been avoided.

“What older people are really concerned about is quality of care. They want to be treated with dignity and respect. I think this would make a great legacy for this coalition Government, but someone needs to bite the bullet.

Barbara Gale, chief executive of St Nicholas Hospice Care, echoed those views and said the issue caused a lot of distress for older people.

“It is disappointing. They put billions into the health service but social care is equally as important. The Government needs to give it a higher priority.”