29 June 2011
The Dilnot Report – How Far Will It Go ?
Next week sees the long awaited Dilnot Report, the coalitions attempt to make sense of the vacuous hole regarding the funding of elderly care and some sensible recommendations as to a way forward.
With the recent focus on the demise of Southern Cross and the Panorama exposure of abuse of people with learning disabilities the spotlight is well and truly on the way in which society supports its vulnerable. So how far will these recommendations go and will they be acted upon ?
Andrew Dilnot’s single biggest challenge is to how to generate the extra cash into the system in these already difficult times. There is strong speculation in the media that they will do so by proposing a partnership deal between the state and the individual, whereby the former will fund any care costs above a cap of perhaps £35,000 in return for the latter agreeing to save, take out insurance cover or – failing both – spend capital on bills up to that level. Either way, the onus will be on the individual to be proactively involved in planning for the future. The forward planning theme is one we have focussed on before, encouraging families to address the long term care issue head on, early enough as a family to make an informed and balanced decision. As much as this makes sense we still see most families coming to us in times of distress, riding an emotional and financial roller coaster at 100mph. These are conversations it looks like we are all going to be forced to have.
If the speculation is correct then different methods of generating the cash needed are going to be bought to the fore, things like equity release and care annuities will become more common place and getting the right advice critical. We have been working for some time now on establishing partnerships with different providers so that care and financial services work together, we will hopefully have something to announce on that very soon.
Lets hope that Dilnot is bold and brave and really moves us forward, not yet another sidestep that papers over the cracks but one that irons out the inconsistencies we see from one town to another and brings some light to what looks like a long dark road.