Liberal Dems promise free adult personal care

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By Creative Media News

  • Liberal Democrats propose free personal care policy
  • Policy aims to address NHS and social care crises
  • Experts support but caution more funding needed

If the Liberal Democrats were in power, free personal care would be provided to elderly or disabled individuals in their homes.

An increase in care worker compensation would resolve the hospital crisis and enable individuals to remain in their homes.

He stated that the estimated £2.7bn cost of the plans would be covered by reversing the tax concessions granted to large banks by the Conservatives by 2028-29.

Independent experts expect the prospective costs of this policy to be higher, although the numbers are still being evaluated.

The party intends to address the significant deficit of care workers by establishing a Royal College of Care Workers that is comparable to the Royal Colleges of Nursing and Midwives, as well as by implementing a carer’s minimum wage that is £2 higher than the standard minimum wage.

The issue was “deeply personal” to Sir Ed, who is a caregiver for his disabled son and cared for his ailing mother when he was young.

He stated, “I am interested in the party being the voice of carers, in part because I have been a caregiver for the majority of my life.”

In announcing the policy, he stated that he was prioritizing the issue as “the core of the Liberal Democrat offer” in order to assist individuals in living “independently and with dignity” in their residences whenever feasible.

“Far too frequently, family caregivers are left to pick up the pieces because the care system is simply not there for them,” he stated.

“The NHS crisis cannot be resolved without addressing the crisis in social care.”

Currently, England’s system is the least liberal in the UK, as it only assists with the costs of care in residential and nursing homes or at home for individuals with an income and assets under £23,250.

The Conservative government intended to implement adult social care charging reforms in October 2023. These reforms included an £86,000 cap on the amount of money that individuals in England were required to spend on personal care over the course of their lifespan. However, the implementation was postponed by two years.

Free personal care would be implemented by the Liberal Democrats, a system that is comparable to that of Scotland.

The cost of nursing care and daily support, which includes hygiene and medication, for older and disabled individuals with high requirements would be covered.

Individuals who require residential care would continue to be needed to contribute to their housing expenses.

This, according to the party, will alleviate the burden on the NHS by identifying issues earlier and freeing up 12,700 hospital beds that are currently occupied by patients who could be discharged.

Additionally, they assert that it would result in savings of up to £3 billion for the NHS by alleviating the burden on hospitals and other NHS services.

The care industry authorities have generally endorsed the proposal; however, they have cautioned that more than the funding may be needed to address the sector’s financial and staffing issues.

The Lib Dem policy was “encouraging,” according to Prof. Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, which represents adult social care providers. However, he also stated, “There is no denying the fact that our sector requires substantial investment.”

According to Sarah Woolnough, the chief executive of The King’s Fund, a health policy charity, the proposal would be a “substantial advancement” if implemented; however, it will not address all the necessary components to restore social care to a sustainable state.

Caroline Abrahams, the director of Age UK, and the Royal College of Nursing both expressed their support for the plan. However, they contended that more trained personnel are needed in the workforce to execute it fully.

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Mike Padgham, the chair of the Independent Care Group, which operates providers in York and North Yorkshire, expressed his support for the proposal. However, he also advocated for a “real, comprehensive reform of social care,” which necessitates the establishment of a National Care Service to consolidate the NHS and social care under a single umbrella and to increase investment in social care to facilitate this.

The Yorkshire Post reported last week that shadow health secretary Wes Streeting would not commit to “jumping straight in with the legislation” in their first term if Labour wins, despite the fact that they have outlined plans to establish a national care service in 2023. The Green Party endorses Labour’s concept.

Labour has also committed to establishing Neighbourhood Health Centres to facilitate the provision of additional care services at the local level.

The Conservatives have pledged to construct 100 new general practitioners (GPs) in order to alleviate the burden on hospitals and ensure that patients receive the necessary treatment.

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