12. March 2009 03:36
A new Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) publication recommends four immediate measures to make the care system fairer now, especially for elderly people, in advance of the government's green paper on its long term plans to reform the care funding system due out later this year.
Developing equity release schemes so they have a greater role in paying for home-based care. Cost: estimated £33 million a year.
To raise the ceiling that dictates whether an individual in a care home receives support from a local authority from £22,250 to £42,500. Cost £280 million a year.
To double the persona expenses allowance (PEA), £21.15 a week, for care home residents whose fees are paid for by their local authorites. The PEA is normally the amount the resident has left to spend on their personal expenses, such as clothes and shoes, after they have used the rest of their income for their care home fees. Cost £250 million a year.
To make personal care for all people requiring nursing care free. Cost £212 million a year.
In a number of public consultations carried out by JRF and other organisations, people repeatedly described the current system as "unfair", unclear and unsustainable". The JRF also concluded that if the current system is left unreformed, funding will need to treble.
The JRF is a charity that funds a large UK wide research and development programme in order to influence social policy and practice by searching for evidence and demonstrating solutions. The report: Options for Care Funding: What can be down now? Can be downloaded from: