A commission on the long-term funding of adult social care will be set up and will report within a year, the Lib-Con coalition announced today in its programme for government.
The proposal had been included in the Liberal Democrats’ election manifesto, but was rejected by the Tories.
The commission will consider both the Tories’ proposals for a voluntary insurance scheme to fund care and the Lib Dem-favoured option of a partnership model, in which care is funded jointly by the state and individuals.
The coalition said it would break down barriers between health and social care funding to enable investment in preventive measures. Preventive health care formed a strong theme in the Conservative Party manifesto’s plans for improvement of the NHS.
It committed to prioritise dementia research within the health research and development budget, a move that will please campaigners who have long argued dementia research is undervalued, receiving much less than other illnesses such as cancer.
The coalition will continue the roll-out of personal budgets and improve access to direct payments for carers to allow them to arrange short breaks.
The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto committment to an additional one week’s respite care was to be be paid for through scrapping Labour’s free personal care at home plan. However, it is unclear whether this forms part of the coalition’s commitment to carers.
The government also backed plans to expand access to talking therapies and give greater control to communities to promote good health.