England has now been ‘left behind in the race’ to resolve the social care funding problems the country currently faces; a charity has warned.
Age UK has said an entire generation of elderly people had “lost out” after various proposed care reforms had been left to “gather dust.”
These comments come following the release of a new report that compared social care systems across the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Japan.
The authors concluded every country is facing some problems, but England comes across “rather badly” compared with other systems. The report stated no government “is yet to really grip the issues.”
Age UK said: “Despite two Government consultations, two official Commissions, give Green or White papers and on Act of Parliament, England’s system of means-tested care funding is broadly unchanged.”
The reports authors claimed people with care need in the countries compared get a better financial deal than those in England – which is anyone with savings or assets above £23,250 has to pay all of the costs of their long-term care.
The report also added that other countries generally either provide some non-means-tested basic level of support, and/or cap the amount of co-payment to be made.
Caroline Abraham, Age UK’s charity director said: “Sadly, this new report shows that England has been left behind in the race to update the funding of care for older people, compared to some other similar nations.
“As a result, our older people and their families are paying more and bearing a lot more of the risk of needing expensive long-term care. The reality is that an entire generation of older people in England has lost out. It is crucial that the forthcoming social care Green paper isn’t yet another failed exercise.”
Mike Birtwistle, founding partner at Incisive Health, said: “The social care system in the UK in is crisis. The Green paper must grasp the nettle of this challenge and propose a realistic and funded plan to address the immediate crisis, as well as delivering longer term reforms to ensure the fairness and sustainability of England’s social care system.”
The report was carried out by Incisive Health on behalf of Age UK.