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The postal lottery of social care

Level of disparity The table below shows the breakdown between regions and nations as to whether over 65s are fully funded, partially funded or using a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA [explained below: Region/nationNumbers fully fundedNumbers partially fundedPercentage fully fundedNumbers of DPAsEast29,33413,81368%652South West27,50929,92045%661London22,93727,59639%317Yorkshire15,16231,46433%563South East35,75672,74128%1,260North West11,60920,02323%700Scotland8,10824,81722%453West Midlands11,12427,71019%860East Midlands6,01927,40217%440Wales3,06114,35916%478North East2,9808,04511%498UK total:173,599297,89031%6,882Source: Key FOI requests to 205 local authorities, February 2019 Will Hale, chief executive of Key, says: “With 1.31 million requests for care and support each year – a figure that is only going to climb – as a country, we face some tough choices around what we can afford to offer.” Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon comments: “As our population ages, delivering a fair and sustainable deal on how the UK funds social care is one of our greatest societal challenges. "Unfortunately, the promised Green Paper on social care funding has suffered repeated delays, leaving many tens of thousands in the dark regarding how to obtain and pay for social care, making them one of the biggest casualties of a Government bogged down by Brexit. “While we wait on a new deal, thousands face catastrophic care costs, often destroying plans to pass on an inheritance to future generations. The government’s share also needs to be adequately funded to ensure good and consistent quality of care, bringing to an end the current geographical lottery.” On Wednesday, the Chair of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hillier MP, accused the government of being “in denial” over the perilous state of local finances.

Summary The table explaining the breakdown between regions and nations as to whether the over 65s are fully funded or partially funded shows just how much one’s social care provision is dependent on where people live. The method of allocating responsibility for funding of social care to local authorities that is not ring fenced is I believe well past its sell by date. We need to adopt a new approach based upon equality of need that enables people to receive a level of service irrespective of where they live. Only then will we see an end to the postal lottery of social care. Albert Cook Albert Cook BA, MA & Fellow Charted Quality Institute Managing Director Bettal Quality Consultancy

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