This week our very own @OT_rach will try her best to guild you thorough the British Prime minister announcement from Tuesday 7th September, that has been described as ‘A once in a generation’ shake-up of adult social care and how it is to be funded.
The cabinets have agreed upon a new plan to modernise the social care system, ensuring it is better integrated with healthcare, that will be financed through tax rises.
The Guardian reported
‘In the short term, much of the money being raised will finance the NHS to catch up with elective surgery and other appointments delayed due to Covid. While the financing plan is UK-wide, the actual implementation of health and social care is run by each UK nation.
‘Next year, national insurance contributions for employees, employers and the self-employed will rise by 1.25%, then in April 2023, while the rises will stay the same, the tax rise will be rebranded as a health and social care levy, which will appear separately on people’s tax records.’
The Observer goes on to reports that Downing Street says the tax increase will raise an additional £12bn a year. A total of £36bn over three years of which the following has been allocated:
- £16bn Direct NHS funding in England
- £8.9bn for ‘health-based Covid response’ in Englan
- £5.4bn for social care in England, of which £500,000 is for training £5.7bn for devolved nations, to support health and social care.
- £5.7bn for devolved nations, to support health and social care.
Source: HM Government
Changes are also being made to the contributions people will pay towards social care, if and when they may need these services.
Currently in England if you have
- Assets less than £23,250 – Care is completely funded by state.
- Assists over 23,250 – care is self-funded with no cap.
- Those above the state pension age who still work do not normally pay national insurance.
The changes from October 2023 will mean if you have
- Assets less than £20,000 – Care is completely funded by state.
- Assets £20,000 to £100,000 – Care is self-funded with a cap of total contributions at £86,000 or until you reach less than 20,000
- As of 2023, those above state pension age will begin to pay the new rebranded ‘health and social care levy’.
This is where it gets a bit more complicated well for me at least. National insurance is a UK-wide system, it is reported that income from theses changes will be distributed across the four UK nations, and that by 2024-25.
- Scotland, will benefit from an extra £1.1bn
- Wales an extra £700m
- Northern Ireland an extra £400m
Although those living in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales contributions towards their social care need may differ form those in explained above for England.
Lastly other than the prospect of a white paper to develop longer-term plans. The overhaul of social care and promise to bring health and social care systems together, has very little further detail.
“We’re pleased that the government is starting to look at the future for social care, but today’s announcement is thin on detail other than on the levy. There is also little on how the government proposes to break down the historic divisions between health and social care, beyond a short reference to the development of a future integration plan and vague mention of reform.
“Social care should be provided to all who need it and free at the point of use, to help address the inequalities COVID-19 has shone a light on in the sector. Whilst today’s announcement will provide relief to some, the announcement of £5.4bn over three years with no guarantees of sustainable funding beyond this is a big concern for the long-term future of care.
“Nor does it say the government will address the real issues in the social care workforce which are leading to chronic shortages all over the country. Occupational therapists as well as other allied health professions will have listened in vain to hear about how the government intends to tackle the issues they face on a daily basis.
“Whilst it is positive that in principle the government has committed at least £500m of funding for the development of the social care workforce, it is not nearly enough to fund this, mental health support, and also reform key aspects of the workforce. For social care staff it is offset by the extra levy that they and their employers will pay, which will take more resources out of the system.
“It is now the time to improve access, quality, and levels of social care and rehabilitation support, so that those who need it receive the care they need, when they need it. Those working in social care must have parity of esteem with the NHS workforce and be given proper development opportunities. We cannot wait until 2023 to start tackling these issues, we need to start now.”
So taking all this in to account and your own experiences of working in health and social care fields the chat will ask the following questions.
- What were your initial thoughts following this announcement?
- Why should our profession concern itself with the details of this ‘once in a generation’ shake-up of adult social care?
- Who do you think will befit most and least from the Prime Ministers announcement on social care?
- How might these changes impact Occupational Therapy practice?
- Are you happy with The RCOT response to this announcement?
Host: Rachel Booth @OT_rach
Support on OTalk Account: OT_rach
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