The report published this week by independent economist Andrew Dilnot into social care costs in England has received broad support from automotive charity, BEN.
The central thrust of Dilnot's proposals is that the means tested threshold for the provision of free home help and care home places should rise from £23,250 of assets to £100,000 with a lifetime cap of £35,000 paid by the recipient.
BEN's Chief Executive, David Main said, "The squeeze which we have seen on council budgets has meant that the amount allocated per person has in most cases been frozen and in many cases actually decreased in real terms. This challenges care providers such as BEN as we strive against a background of decreasing state sponsored resource not just to meet the ever increasing statutory requirements in respect of maintaining standards but to set for ourselves new targets by further improving on those standards. The provision of high quality, affordable care remains central to our mission but depends on the strength and goodwill of the partnership that we are able to forge with government at both a local and national level.
Social care is now at a crossroads and tangible actions to safeguard accessibility and standards of care are long overdue so this report is a good first step. The system is already under stress and those stresses will only increase in the years ahead as rises in the elderly population see more people enter that system. Given that Dilnot is only at the report stage and bearing in mind that the Treasury has already indicated that it remains to be convinced in respect of the financial implications of his recommendations, which could take up to 5 years to implement anyway, it is particularly important that government and care organisations now work together to set and maintain the momentum of change."
BEN operates residential and day care centres at various locations throughout the UK.