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Potential u-turn in care funding cap?

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Today, a report from The Guardian states that a senior Whitehall source has effectively announced a potential u-turn on the recommendations of the Dilnot report into care funding for the elderly.

Last year Andrew Dilnot’s commission recommended a £35,000 limit on the cost to the individual, but ministers including the Health Secretary indicated last month that the proposal would be shelved because of the £2billion cost to the Treasury.

But now the plans appear to have been revived, according to the senior Whitehall source who confirmed the Government was planning to implement the Dilnot recommendations, but claimed they had never been officially off the table.

They will be formally announced in the autumn as part of a coalition re-launch and will be included in a care and support bill. A draft version has already been published and will now be amended to accommodate the Dilnot recommendations.

It may of course be purely co-incidental that the announcement comes in the midst of a huge publicity campaign around the Governments’ policy of cutting off time limits for NHS care funding claims whereby people who may already be entitled to free care through the NHS if their needs are for nursing (rather than social) care.

At present – until September 30th this year – claims for this funding can be effectively backdated to as far back as April 2004. After September 30th the effective limit for most claims for this funding will be for only 6 months of backdate. 

As for the reported changes announced today – these will likely not be implemented until 2017 in any event.

By Associate, Pete Donohue