Headlines: May 10th, 2000

The King’s Fund has called on the Government to re-think long term care and the way it is funded. The report ‘Funding Long-Term Care: Reshaping the debate’, highlights the need for fundamental reforms of long-term care and how it is funded rather than tinkering with the rules of the current system. It describes the opportunity to create a coherent welfare system that responds to the real needs of older people.The current system of long-term care funding drives people into residential care when they do not need it and encourages hospitals to discharge people before proper home support can be arranged. It has created unnecessary complexity and confusion, leaving many vulnerable people without adequate support and others facing grave financial loss.

The report calls on the Government to draw up a Compact for Care in Old Age that sets out what people can expect from the state, and what they should provide for themselves, when they need long-term care.