The Caring Choices coalition today added momentum to a “Wanless-style” reform to the adult care funding system in the forthcoming green paper, with research showing it has the backing of those with direct experience of the current system.
An in-depth survey of more than 700 older people, carers, providers and others with first-hand knowledge of social care found that 90% backed universal state funding for service users, regardless of income or wealth, rejecting the current means-tested regime.
However, the 15-strong coalition of charities, local government leaders and research bodies found just one in five backed free personal care. Most favoured a system where care packages were mainly funded by the state, but individuals paid a proportion of the costs.
This idea was proposed by Derek Wanless in his landmark report on older people’s social care for the King’s Fund – a member of the coalition – in March 2006. Under his partnership model, the state would pay just over 80% of a person’s care package.
With this year’s green paper, announced last October, due to cover funding reform, the Conservatives have already backed the Wanless model, while the Liberal Democrats are strongly considering it, and the government has hinted that it is sympathetic.
Today’s findings from Caring Choices were based on a series of consultation events across the country throughout last year. The majority of participants felt strongly that the current care funding system was “irrational, confusing and unjust” and rejected the notion of means testing.
The consultation also revealed a “strong resentment” over the lack of support for family carers.