The Continuing Care Conference (CCC) has challenged the next Parliament to adopt a clear approach to long term care (LTC) amid “massive uncertainty”.
The LTC policy healthcheck campaign, A Vote for Good Care, was launched to allow analysis of the political parties’ policies for LTC and security in retirement before June 7.
The essential criteria for a LTC policy should answer such questions as:
l Are proposals clear, consistent and carer-friendly?
l Will they deliver fair, affordable, integrated and reliable care?
l Will the parties’ proposals promote independence, rehabilitation, dignity and choice?
CCC chairman Bob Lewis CBE warned that some of the reforms put in place during the last Parliament could provide a solid framework for care services, but only if there is sufficient funding, resources are delivered where they are needed and different policy initiatives are properly joined up.
Sandy Johnstone, the deputy chairman of the CCC, is also retirement and protection strategy manager at Norwich Union. He said: “The government is still in the middle of the debate of LTC insurance and the issue of clarification with the implementation of Cat standards for better understanding. The central issues of clarity and individual responsibility still hang in the balance.”
Help the Aged head of public affairs Melvyn Kohler said: “Assessments have not been decided upon, like how much will the individual’s bill be reduced? How will it be calculated? Many thousands of people need to be assessed between now and October. It could all go badly wrong.”
Philip Spiers, a member of the CCC and a partner at the Nursing Home Fees Agency, said: “LTC needs a lot more money to improve services rather than the means test to approve services. There are insufficient funds available but there needs to be more free care available to people.
“The public need to be educated because many don’t know it is available,” he said.