CompaniesMay 15 2013

Care Bill welcomed by industry figures

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BySimoney Girard

In the 136-page Bill, which was published last week, the government set out plans to enshrine caps on cost and financial support, alongside proposals to improve the quality of care and the qualifications of care providers.

Several proposals were made by the 2012 White Paper on care and Robert Francis QC’s report in 2012 on the Care Quality Commission.

In response the Bill advocates laying down in law the right for everyone with a care and support plan to have a personal budget, which they can receive as a direct payment if necessary.

People who fear they will have to sell their home to pay for care costs will be protected in part by the cap on costs, and the commission will be given stronger powers to expose poor care. The Bill also proposed that it would be a criminal offence for providers to supply false or misleading information.

Health Education England will be established as a legal, non-departmental body to regulate the training and education for NHS staff involved in care.

Norman Lamb, care services minister, said: “We are addressing the pressing need to support people when they reach crisis point and need help most. People can finally pay for their later years and not have to fear being saddled with catastrophic costs to pay for care.”

He said this, coupled with the new national eligibility criteria outlined in the Bill, would help people even if they move from one part of the country to another.

If someone moves into a care home, what government support can they currently expect?

LocationUpper ThresholdLower Threshold

England £23,250 £14,250

Wales £23,500 £23,500

Scotland £24,750 £15,250

Northern Ireland £23,250 £14,250

Source: Symponia

Key Points

The introduction of Ofsted-style ratings for hospitals and care homes.

Improve quality of and training for staff.

Enshrine in law a personal care plan and personal budget for everyone.

Give carers right to support.

Create a national minimum eligibility threshold across the UK.

Reform the funding of care so people do not have to sell their homes to pay for care

Liz Faye, head of care services for Lancashire-based CarePal Assist:

“Many families are pretty much left to their own devices when it comes to meeting care needs. Unless they are pointed in the direction of an organisation such as ours, they will miss out. We aim to liaise with the local authorities, the NHS, private and domiciliary care providers to help provide holistic support. The Bill’s proposals to join up the various points of care is a good start but only part of it.