In a manifesto for social care, the Independent Care Group calls for better funding of social care, through taxation or National Insurance and for social care and NHS care to be merged and managed centrally or locally.
The ICG suggests that a fixed percentage of GDP should be spent on social care, that dementia should be regarded as a health issue, like cancer or heart disease, that there should be a cap on social care costs, including ‘hotel’ charges, and that people should be encouraged to save for their own care, as they do for a pension. This should be supported by a minimum, agreed level of care fees, and additional oversight of commissioning by the CQC, particularly for per minute billing and 15-minute visits.
Other calls in the manifesto include:
- Social care businesses should also be zero-rated for VAT
- A minimum wage for social care workers, above the National Living Wage
- Nurse training bursaries
Group chair Mike Padgham added: “The key aspects are ensuring that we get a firm pledge from the party leaders to tackle social care and get more money into the sector.
“I believe that people are now willing to pay a little more through taxation or National Insurance if it means we, as a country, get a proper social care service to give our older and vulnerable people the care they deserve.
“We must also ensure that people receiving publicly-funded care receive it in their own home or close to where they live so that people aren’t forced to move away from their own community.”
- Registration is now open for the ICG conference in York on Wednesday 20 November 2019.