Headlines: October 15th, 2007

Local government organisations have given a broad welcome to the announcement that the Government is to review the way that people pay for their social care. They are warning, though, that changes will have to be linked to realistic funding and that there is still a long way to go before the issue is resolved.

Sir Simon Milton, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said councils were pleased the Government was to look into ways to reform the current unpopular means testing system but he added, “Any changes must be coupled with realistic funding if together we are to give people choice, independence, dignity and control over their lives.”

He said there was a clear need for a beter funding system that was designed to meet the growing needs and numbers of people using social care services. He warned that the time for talking was running out and there now needed to be a timetable for action. “The review is long overdue and talk about future changes does little to alleviate the unpalatable situation many elderly people are currently facing today,” he said.

Local authorities were determined, he said, to give older people a fair deal but the social care system was creaking at the seams and councils had been given their worst funding settlement in a decade.

Meanwhile the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has welcomed the proposed Green Paper after calling for a public debate on the issue since the publication of the Wanless Review. The ADASS President, Anne Williams, said, “We knew that the funding issues facing us in social care wouldn’t be resolved in just one review. This is only a start there is still a long way to go.