Scotland’s Community Care and Health Bill, passed in February, has added to the confusion surrounding the issue of long-term care (LTC), according to an independent LTC funding specialist.
Owain Wright, the head of The Care Funding Bureau, a new LTC advice firm based in London, believes more people now face the prospect of using the value of their homes and life savings to fund their care.
The confusion stems from the fact that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland appear to be taking different routes in deciding how to contribute towards the cost of care.
England will pay between £35 and £110 a week towards the “nursing” element of someone’s care but will pay nothing towards personal care.
Scotland is set to pay a flat rate of £65 towards nursing care costs and a further flat rate of £145 towards personal care costs. But those receiving the personal allowance in a care home will lose their attendance allowance of £37 or £55.30 a week.
Wales looks likely to contribute a flat rate of £100 a week towards nursing costs only and Northern Ireland is yet to reveal which route it will take.
Wright said: “A contribution towards personal care as well as nursing care is a positive move but it must be made clear to people that they are likely still to have to contribute substantially towards the cost of their care.
“Long-term care should not be used as a political football. To refer to ‘free’ care is grossly misleading and a cheap attempt to swing votes, particularly among older and more vulnerable citizens.”