Partnership: Long-term care debate has moved on

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Partnership's managing director of care Chris Horlick told MPs that the long-term care debate has moved on, as he gave evidence at an independent committee on long-term funding.

Speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Group's inquiry, he said: "I'm not sure too many here would argue that it should be state funded, so real progress has been made."

However, Horlick warned the system is still "opaque and unfair" to self-funders - who make up 41% of all care home residents, with a quarter who run out of money falling back on the state at a cost of £1bn a year.

MPs asked how any future framework for long-term care can help people remain financially independent.

Richard Humphries, senior fellow of charity The King's Fund said any system implemented should be built on the principles of fairness. He said it should not neglect people with low incomes and the highest needs.

Sarah Pickup, president of Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said although the cap proposed by the Dilnot Commission could provide the architecture for a future mechanism, on its own it would not be enough. She said the re-design of care schemes could provide short-term relief for local government funding, but the coalition needed to act quickly to create a sustainable system for the future.

Speakers felt there was a real need to empower individuals to make decisions and remain financially independent. Horlick said "There should be access to information and advice for all." He said, in particular greater access to financial advice was needed.

The All Party Parliamentary Group's report on the future of social care will be launched on 16 July.

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