News Story

Cap on care costs addresses only “small part of the problem”

January 28, 2015

The BBC has launched an online guide to the care system for the over-65s (28 January). The “care calculator” covers both residential care and the support provided in people’s own homes, for tasks such as washing and dressing:

For those in England, it can calculate an estimate of how much they may have to pay before their care costs are capped under Care Act reforms due to be introduced in April 2016. To be eligible, you first need to be assessed by your council as having very high needs. Whether care is provided in your home or in a residential home, only the rate set by the council will count towards the cap. In residential care, you will still be responsible for food and lodging when you hit the cap.

Commenting on the cap on care costs Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care & Support Alliance said,

“One-in-three people have experience of care – but polling shows the public has no confidence in the system.

“The cap on costs addresses only one small part of the problem.

“The real issue is that chronic underfunding has seen dramatic year-on-year rationing of social care support for older and disabled people.

“This is important because the cap on costs only kicks in if you are eligible for social care. So older and disabled people who are excluded from the social care system are also frozen out of the cap on costs.

“Every day, our organisations hear horror stories of people who struggle to get the support they need to simply get up, get dressed and get out of the house. This has a huge impact on carers, who we know are struggling right now.

“The health service picks up the pieces when people become isolated, can’t live on their own and slip into crisis.

“As more and more of us need care, and fewer and fewer of us get it, the Government needs to fund care properly, as well the health system. As health experts argue, anything else is a false economy.”

Watch the BBC’s Nick Triggle explain how the calculator works:

How the care system works across the UK:

How the cap on care costs works: