Individual costs for social care to be capped

Addressing a conference of social workers, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that any new system of funding social care will be capped and pledged further support for struggling councils.

In his first policy speech since taking responsibility for social care reform in January’s cabinet reshuffle, Hunt stated that the government needed to find new ways to support councils struggling to meet the demands of a rapidly ageing population in the green paper on social care, which is due for publication this Summer.

He also set out seven principles that would be the basis for the green paper, including quality, personal control, workforce planning and the full integration of health and social care.

Hunt said: “The way that our current charging system operates is far from fair. This is particularly true for families faced with the randomness and unpredictability of care, and the punitive consequences that come from developing certain conditions over others. If you develop dementia and require long-term residential care you are likely to have to use a significant chunk of your savings and the equity in your home to pay for that care. But if you require long-term treatment for cancer you won’t find anything like the same cost.”