Care home fees cap not what it seems, claims conservative party politician

Published: 12/09/2012

A member of the Conservative Party, John Redwood, has attacked the recent proposals by economist Andrew Dilnot to cap care home fees. These proposals have received the full support of Prime Minister and party leader David Cameron.

The proposals call for a new system of funding which would see no one paying in excess of around £35,000 for care.

However, while this appears solid in theory, John Redwood is questioning the legitimacy of such a system. He pays particular attention to Dilnot’s report which makes clear that the cap would apply to care costs only.

In a paper published last week for the think-tank of the Centre of Policy Studies, Redwood highlighted the fact that people would still be required to pay far more than the £35,000 limit for care as “much of the money they would spend would not count towards the cap.” A resident’s accommodation, for example, would not be included and would therefore need to be funded.

In the south of England, one of the most expensive areas for care, average care home fees stand at £817 per week (£42,500 a year). However, Redwood calculated that “only £271 a week paid by the resident would count towards the cap”. This means, he continued, that the resident would be judged to have spent £35,000 in two and a half years but in reality they would have shelled out £105,000.

Redwood concluded by saying:

“I think a lot of people who support Dilnot haven’t actually read the proposals and don’t understand the location of the cap.”

The topic of care home fees is big news at present after it has come to light that many residents are, or were, paying for care which should have been funded by their Primary Care Trust. Goldsmith Williams is currently working with clients to help them reclaim these costs.

Time is of the essence as, for the majority of cases, the deadline to start to reclaim care home fees is 30 September 2012.

Content correct at time of publication

Show All Articles