Everyone in England will have access to a National Care Service that is fair, simple and affordable under plans set out by Health Secretary Andy Burnham in the Green Paper Shaping the Future of Care Together.
Huge pressures are being put on existing services. More people need care because they are living longer – in 1948 life expectancy was 66 while today it is 78. For the first time there are more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 18.
The National Care Service will create a level playing field and end the postcode lottery of care services. Everyone in England will be guaranteed:
Prevention services - the right support to stay independent and well for as long as possible and to delay care needs getting worse
National assessment - care needs will be assessed and paid for in the same way across the country
Joined-up services - all the services will work together smoothly
Information and advice – the care system will be easy to understand and navigate
Personalised care and support - services will be based on personal circumstances and need
Fair funding - money will be spent wisely and everyone will get some help meeting the high cost of care needs.
Andy Burnham said: "We need a system that's fair, simple and affordable for everyone. A system that gives excellent care wherever we live and whatever our needs.
"Everyone will come into contact with the care system at some point – whether it is ourselves or our families and friends. The National Care Service must be shaped by the people who will use it so we want everyone to tell us what they think. Everyone should join the Big Care Debate today."
The Big Care Debate will canvas the views of the public and people who work in care and support services on what the National Care Service should look like and how care should be paid for. Currently care is not free.
Care Services Minister Phil Hope said: "If we want to provide really good care to more people we need to change the way the system is funded. We need to radically change it. We've spoken to thousands of people, discussed with all the key bodies in the care and support sector, looked at international comparisons, and arrived at three options."
"If Andy Burnham is able to pull this off, he will be seen as the next Nye Bevon, founder of the NHS in 1948. It is a terrific objective, but 60 years of the NHS has proved that it is totally unworkable” - Tim Anstee, Partner at The Wealth Care Partnership