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23 Jul 2012
Government needs to act decisively to help the elderly, says Caremark East Riding MD
Caremark (East Riding) Managing Director Graham Precious has responded to Government plans to reform care and support in the UK.
Mr Precious says whilst the White Paper is a step in the right direction, the Government needs to "get its act together" and spell out clearly how it intends to invest more money in care.
He said: "They need to make decisions quickly because for far too long the elderly, many of whom fought in wars for us, have been an easy target for budget cuts and savings.
"They need to be protected and hopefully the Government will demonstrate, via prompt action, that it really means to reform the care and support sector, and invest the money the sector needs to help those who deserve it the most.
A summary of the key elements of the Care and Support White Paper are as follows;
Stimulating the development of initiatives that help people share their time, talents and skills with others in their community.
Developing and implementing, in a number of trailblazer areas, new ways of investing in supporting people to stay active and independent, such as Social Impact Bonds.
Establishing a new capital fund, worth £200 million over five years, to support the development of specialised housing for older and disabled people.
Establishing a new national information website, to provide a clear and reliable source of information on care and support, and investing £32.5 million in better local online services.
Introducing a national minimum eligibility threshold to ensure greater national consistency in access to care and support, and ensuring that no-one's care is interrupted if they move.
Extending the right to an assessment to more carers, and introducing a clear entitlement to support to help them maintain their own health and well-being.
Working with a range of organisations to develop comparison websites that make it easy for people to give feedback and compare the quality of care providers.
Ruling out crude 'contracting by the minute', which can undermine dignity and choice for those who use care and support.
Consulting on further steps to ensure service continuity for people using care and support, should a provider go out of business.
Placing dignity and respect at the heart of a new code of conduct and minimum training standards for care workers.
Training more care workers to deliver high-quality care, including an ambition to double the number of care apprenticeships to 100,000 by 2017.
Appointing a Chief Social Worker by the end of 2012.
Legislating to give people an entitlement to a personal budget.
Improving access to independent advice to help people eligible for financial support from their local authority to develop their care and support plan.
Developing, in a small number of areas, the use of direct payments for people who have chosen to live in residential care, to test the costs and benefits.
Investing a further £100 million in 2013/14 and £200 million in 2014/15 in joint funding between the NHS and social care to support better integrated care and support.