In open letters to the three party leaders - David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband -, social care leaders have cautioned that political in-fighting should be avoided and a consensus should be reached on the ‘long-term care’ funding when the Dilnot commission reports next month!
The warning from the social care leaders – from organizations like the Local Government Association, Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, Carers UK, Age UK and Bupa - echoes concerns of a repeat of fiery pre-election scuffle over care funding in 2010, in which the Tories rubbished Labour's idea of a tariff on estates to fund care as a “death tax.”
The social care leaders have urged all three politicians to respond to the independent commission’s report via measured debate as well as to work for reaching at a consensus in order that reform can take place this Parliament.
Going by the indications, while the commission will probably call for increased state funding for long-term care; it is highly unlikely that free care will be recommended. Apparently, the commission will support the introduction of national eligibility criteria for social care; thereby bringing the existing postcode lottery to an end.
Noting that “delay is no longer an option,” and that “increased pressure on public finances is pushing an already over-burdened system to breaking point,” the letter said: “Without further integration between health and social care services this picture could worsen!”