Age UK have picked up the 'harshness' of the English system in relation to long term care. But reading the report, I am also struck by the high levels of long term care in this country when compared to Italy and Spain. Whilst councils have made good efforts to reduce institutional care, we know the appropriateness of setting is far from optimal, for both older and younger adults.
So at the same time we rightly complain about the lack of generosity in the system, the following also seems to me to be correct:
1. We need to look at long term and short term care, alongside other preventive activity, in the round and not in isolation. Social care can be made to work far better in a system and not as a discrete set of services
2. The experience of other developed countries, particularly in terms models of care, eligibility, innovation and the relationship between informal and formal care, is fantastically under-researched and under-exploited by the current system at national and local levels
3. More money is needed, but if we continue to fund expensive long term care at the level we currently do, without trying to rebalance the system, it will be wasted
England 'left behind' in race to resolve social care funding problems, charity warns Despite government consultations, official commissions, green and white papers and an act of parliament, England's system of means-tested care funding is broadly unchanged, Age UK says