‘No cash for shift to supported housing’

Fears that residential care could be replaced by very supported
housing were allayed this week after it was calculated such a move
would cost between £25bn and £30bn.

Andrew Stow, chair of the National Care Forum care services
committee, estimated it would cost billions to replace every care
home place with one in an extra care housing scheme.

“The government made £87m available for extra care last
month. At that rate it would take about 257 years to get the money
for enough places,” he told the annual conference of the forum,
which represents the interests of not-for-profit health and social
care providers in the UK.

He said he did not believe that residential care would
“completely disappear”.

Denise Platt, chair of the Commission for Social Care
Inspection, said a range of care options was needed to improve
choice and meet individual needs and lifestyles.

Stow said there was an “urgent” need for the government to relax
planning permission rules so that the independent sector could
afford land for very supported housing schemes. Currently, the
sector could not match the money offered by house builders and
government, he added.

Earlier, community care minister Stephen Ladyman told the
conference in Nottingham that he did not believe that long-term
care was synonymous with care provided in care homes but that there
was still a role for residential care in the future.

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