Securing good care for more people: Options for reform

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Part of Social care: reform of funding and delivery

Social care has never been higher on the political and policy agenda, and the need for fundamental reform has been universally recognised.

In 2006, The King's Fund commissioned Sir Derek Wanless to review the funding of social care for older people. That review proposed a 'partnership model' in which costs were shared between the state and the individual.

Since then, the momentum for change has gathered pace. Securing good care for more people updates the original review and concludes that a revised version of the 'partnership model' is the fairest way of funding social care in the future. This would see the state guaranteeing to pay 50 per cent of everyone's care costs and matching every £2 contributed by individuals with a further £1.

The report not only presents the financial implications of key funding models but also assesses their outcomes, including unmet need. Options for reforming Attendance Allowance are discussed.

New research carried out for the report shows that if the current system was left as it is, the cost would double over the next 15 years, with no improvement in outcomes.

In contrast, the reforms proposed by the Fund would halve unmet need by significantly increasing the amount of care people receive and would see around 50 per cent more people helped than under the current system. If a long-term approach is taken, these proposals are affordable and achievable.

The report recommends a staged approach to funding reform: a fundamental review of spending to produce a new settlement for older people; delivering more personalised care and support; and political consensus through an all-party road map for reform.