In a new pamphlet, Conservative MP Danny Kruger – former Political Secretary to Boris Johnson and the author of a recent government review of civil society – is calling for a bold new idea to help solve the social care crisis named the ‘Care Commitment’.
Danny is proposing a shift to a more family and community-centred care system. In the paper, he suggests all personal care costs at home (domiciliary) for older people should be covered by public funds and that the family home should not have to be sold to pay for care, on the condition that a joint commitment is made by the individual, their family, the local authority and the government to each play their part:
- The individual has ultimate power and responsibility over their care, where capacity allows, including a responsibility to co-fund care where possible;
- Families have a responsibility to support their relative themselves as much as they can, whether at home or in residential care;
- The local authority, representing the community, has a responsibility to co-fund care and to ensure a range of formal and informal support for people in receipt of care and their families;
- The government, representing the nation as a whole, has a responsibility to co-fund and regulate the provision of social care.
Danny Kruger proposes a new funding model based on social insurance, to cover both residential and community-based care, involving dedicating a portion of the National Insurance fund to help pay for social care costs.
Research conducted by Demos and included in the pamphlet, supported by the County Councils Network (CCN), found:
- There is a very strong consensus on the need for change in terms of the social care sector in the UK and agreement that it should be a priority for the government.
- There is a consensus on the need for a more community-based approach in support for older and disabled people.
- There is greater public support for a locally-led rather than centrally-led care service.
Danny Kruger MP said:
“The problem which lies beneath the underfunding of the social care system is that as a society we do not really respect elderly people, or working age adults with care needs. Nor do we properly value the people who, paid or unpaid, look after them. This is why social care has always been the Cinderella of the public services, with underinvestment by successive governments largely accepted by voters. We have built a model that pushes people with care needs, carers and care workers to the margins of our society – out of sight, out of mind, and out of pocket. That now must change.
“There is every reason to be hopeful that, as we emerge from the long shadow of Covid-19, we can build a system that gives elderly people, and other adults with care needs, dignity and independence, preserves family assets, and properly rewards care workers for their vital, skilled and loving work.”