Review of funding for older people’s services launched

The government could come under pressure to commit far greater
resources to social care by an independent review of funding for
older people’s services, launched yesterday,
writes Mithran Samuel.

The one-year inquiry, called by the King’s Fund, is headed
by Derek Wanless, whose review of NHS funding in 2002 led the
government to dramatically increase health spending.

In the same review, Wanless called for a fundamental review of
social care funding, though the government is understood to have
shunned a review because of the possibility it would call for large
funding increases.

Wanless said: “The rate of increase of social care costs
may well outstrip healthcare costs because of
demographics…[The review] needs to be done.”

Welcoming the review, president of the Association of Directors
of Social Services Tony Hunter, said: “We have long pressed
for a comprehensive and credible review of the demands on social
care and an analysis of the resources available to meet those needs
and demands.

“The King’s Fund is to be commended for having taken such a bold
and imaginative step,” he added.

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