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Care home fee equalisation takes centre stage in social care White Paper

Care home fee equalisation, plus investment in technology to prevent falls, are among the pledges made by Government in its new 10-year plan for social care in England.

In a White Paper published today, People at the Heart of Care, Government has pledged to introduce funding measures that will see self-funders pay the same fee rates as local authority funded placements. The suggestion is that local authorities will move towards paying a fair cost of care.

However, an overall theme underpinning the paper is a shift away from a reliance on residential care, driven by the development of new, genuine options for care at home and in the community. 

A key tenet of the plans is to accelerate digitisation and adoption of technology across social care, and for care homes in areas still dependent on poor connections there will be new fibre broadband connections.

Another specific early priority is to introduce technology that prevents falls, the DHSC has said, suggesting that one in five falls could be avoided.  

Among the £1 billion worth of workstreams announced in the White Paper for the next three years are the following:  

  • at least £300 million to increase the range of new supported housing options and increase home adaptations
  • at least £150 million for technology and digitisation across social care
  • at least £500 million for workforce training and qualifications
  • at least £5 million to support public access to care and support.

Care England has pledged its overall support for the White Paper, but warns that delivery of its objectives “will be very difficult because of major challenges facing the care sector.”

Care home provider Dr Sanjeev Kanoria, chairman of Advinia Health Care, said: “Fifty percent of councils have reported care home closures. The sector urgently requires a long-term, legally binding, and sustainable funding from the government.”

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