Counsel and Care calls for national fund to meet adult care costs

Adult care costs could be met by a ring-fenced national care fund backed by social insurance contributions, a Counsel and Care report said today.

Counsel and Care has proposed several reforms, including the care fund,  to influence the government’s green paper on adult social care and support, due next year. The charity works with older people but said the plans could be applied to disabled adults as well.

Universal system of support

It called for the creation of a universal system of support, including “personalised care and support” for those with needs deemed “low and moderate” by current eligibility criteria, many of whom are currently excluded. People would have the same entitlement to support in every area, ending the postcode lottery.

This would include information, advice and advocacy, telecare, support with housing adaptations, health “MOTs” for over-65s and annual health checks for carers.

Counsel and Care claimed this “universal offer” could be mostly funded from existing resources, including through the diversion of NHS cash. But it said the shortfall and additional support for people with critical or substantial needs should be met from a ring-fenced care fund.

The paper suggested this could be paid for by “relatively affordable” social insurance contributions from older people, reaching or at the point of state retirement age, with the state meeting the contributions of those who did not own property or other assets.

Equity release funding

It suggested individuals’ contributions could be made through equity release, including giving people the choice of deferring a contribution until after death.

It said using the national care fund to finance the “universal offer” as well as care for those with higher needs would encourage more people to contribute, as it would benefit a wider range of users.

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