Social Care Reform

I know so many of us have faced tough challenges and difficult decisions when it comes to the care of our friends and loved ones. I recognise that the social care system could be working better both for those who use it and for those caring for others. 

I warmly welcome the publication of the Government’s Adult Social Care Reform White Paper, setting out a ten-year vision for care that puts people and families at its heart. The vision’s core principles are to ensure everyone has choice, control and support to live independent lives, everyone can access outstanding personalised care and support, and that social care is fair and accessible for everyone.

Over the next three years, £1.7 billion will be spent to improve the lives of those who receive care, as well as their families and carers. This includes £500 million investment in the social care workforce, a £300 million Housing Transformation Fund, to help local authorities increase the range and amount of new supported housing and £150 million to drive new technology and digitisation across social care.

The white paper is part of wider social care plans, backed by £5.4 billion, which for the first time provides a limit to the cost of care for everyone in the adult social care system, and significantly increases state support.

This is an important step on the journey to reform social care in this country and giving more people the dignified care that we all want for our loved ones. As your MP, I can assure you that I will be engaged in all discussions about these reforms and continue to represent the views of constituents.

The level at which the state will cover a person’s care costs will be raised from £14,250 to £20,000. Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will contribute to the cost of their care but will receive means-tested state support, an upper limit over four times higher than the current one.

I know that some people face real financial pressures each week or month after paying for their care. It is therefore welcome that, to allow people receiving means-tested support to keep more of their own income, the Government will unfreeze the Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) for those receiving care in their own homes. From April 2022 this will rise in line with inflation.

The new reforms to social care will complement the existing system whereby people in need of residential care can defer payment of care home fees so they do not face the added stress of rushing to sell their home. This system has been in place since 2015 and means that people have the flexibility to avoid selling their home within their lifetime. As part of the process to build on the announcements made, the Government will be working to review the existing scheme in order to provide more flexibility for people to defer their care payments and ensure more people do not have to sell their homes in their lifetime.

14/12/2021