The Dilnot care funding commission will recommend an end to the postcode lottery for care by calling for the introduction of a national system of assessment and eligibility, its chair has signalled.
Andrew Dilnot said a national threshold for care would be seen as fairer than the current system of council-set eligibility criteria and would also encourage the financial services industry to provide more care insurance products.
His comments came in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on Saturday, which followed the publication of a summary of responses to the commission’s call for evidence on the future funding of care.
This identified strong support for a national eligibility threshold on the grounds of fairness. Dilnot told Today presenter John Humphrys: “I think there will be merit in trying to find an assessment system that seems to give people more of a sense that there’s fairness and equality across the UK.”
“[This means] a national framework and a new deal that sets out what the appropriate sharing arrangements are between the responsibilities that individuals take for themselves and the responsibilities that the state takes.”
He said this would provide the financial services industry with greater certainty about state funding for care, encouraging them to design appropriate products to help individuals meet their own liabilities for care costs.
“We want a system is clear, that people can understand and think is fair so they can engage with it,” he added.
Dilnot’s comments mean that the shape of the commission’s final report in July is taking shape.
Besides a national system of eligibility and assessment, it will reject free personal care on cost grounds and is unlikely to recommend a compulsory system of insurance payments for care, preferring a voluntary approach.
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