Leicester Mercury

PM ‘wrong to say his plan will fix social care’


- By STAFF REPORTER enquiries@thecarersc­entre.org.uk

THE Prime Minister’s plan to reform funding of the social care system will not fix the system, claims a charity boss.

Clive Langley, chairman of The Carers Centre Leicester, Leicesters­hire and Rutland (LLR), said: “The much-heralded White Paper of Health and Social Care was presented to Parliament last week.

“Boris Johnson stated, ‘At long last we are fixing social care and ending the practise of elderly people having to sell their homes to pay for care.’

“Well, I’m sorry to say this, but the Prime Minister is wrong. It will do nothing of the sort.”

Mr Langley, a financial adviser, said: “At present, if an elderly person goes into care, they have to pay for the full cost of care if their assets are over £23,250 and, with care costs averaging the £1,000 a week mark, this often means the sale of the family home to pay for care.

“Under the new rules, the government has put a cap of what it has termed Personal Care of £86,000 and this has been interprete­d as meaning that you only have to pay a maximum of £86,000 for a stay in a care home.

“This is not correct. The cost of care is split into two parts. One part relates to what is called hotel costs (the costs of food, the bed, furniture, etc) and the second part relates to social or personal care (medicines, bathing, personal care etc).

“Hotel costs make up about 80 per cent of the costs and it is only the social care part of the weekly bill that the government is putting a cap on.

“This means that the cap will only start to apply in this example once a person has been in care for over eight years and by that time they will have spent £416,000 on care costs at today’s rates.”

The Carers Centre LLR supports unpaid carers who are looking after loved ones.

Mr Langley said the charity is regularly contacted by carers who have been presented with an unexpected or unplanned for bill for payment of care for their loved ones, and with the systems of health and social care remaining very complex, it can be extremely stressful during what is already a difficult time for families.

He said many carers and those they are looking after are going to be lulled into a false sense of security by the government announceme­nt and it will come as a terrible shock to find out this Bill is not what they think it is.

Joe Levenson, executive director of policy and external affairs for the national Carers Trust, said: “For too long, successive government­s have failed to deliver a plan to fix our broken social care system, despite a rapidly ageing UK population and a steep rise in demand for social care.

“So the fact that the government is finally putting forward a plan for longterm funding of health and social care is to be welcomed.

“We are concerned, however, that the plans put forward will not go far enough in fixing social care, nor do enough to address the chronic challenges of those affected most by our broken system – unpaid family carers.

“For years, unpaid carers have had to take on more and more vital care for family members as services collapsed under the weight of cuts.

“It was hardly surprising, therefore, that Carers Trust research found only one in eight carers felt they got enough support from the social care system.

“The Prime Minister’s announceme­nt was trailed as a plan to fix social care. But the proposals seem to prioritise rescuing a post-pandemic NHS over fixing social care.

“Unpaid family carers were not mentioned once in the Prime Minister’s announceme­nt, and it was some time before social care was mentioned.”

If you are an unpaid carer who needs support or advice, ring The Carers Centre LLR on 0116 251 0999 or email:

 ?? PAUL EDWARDS/GETTY ?? PROPOSALS: Boris Johnson at a care home before unveiling his White Paper
PAUL EDWARDS/GETTY PROPOSALS: Boris Johnson at a care home before unveiling his White Paper

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