Wanless Review

Process that gave rise to partnership model

The Wanless or King’s Fund review addressed two big questions: how much will need to be spent on social care for older people in England in 20 years’ time and what funding arrangements should be in place to ensure that these funds are available and support the good-quality outcomes sought? Both questions are of equal importance to services for people with learning disabilities.

It concluded that simply keeping pace with population changes caused by increasing numbers of older people – and not seeking to improve care services or the way they are funded – would require spending (public and private) on social care for older people to increase from the 2002 level of £10.1bn (1.1% of GDP) to £24bn (1.5% of GDP) by 2026. Achieving more ambitious goals for social care would involve increasing its share of GDP to 2% by 2026.

The review proposed a funding system for older people whereby the government scrapped means-testing for older people’s care and introduced a “partnership model” of funding.

Under this proposal, a guaranteed minimum level of care would be provided free. Individuals could then make contributions matched by the state until agreement was reached on a benchmark, or “economically justified”, care package. People with low incomes would be helped to make their additional contributions through benefits.

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