Due to plans to limit home care funding, older people and the disabled may not get the choice of receiving care in their own home and instead could be forced to enter care homes. Approximately 37 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) out of 209 have said they would not pay for home care if it proved cheaper to send people to live in care homes and are looking to restrict funding for home care.
Several Freedom of Information requests were submitted by Disability United and Health Service Journal and 19 CCGs said that they would not fund care in a person’s home if it cost more than 10 per cent above that of a care home place or other alternative option. 11 CCGs said that they would restrict costs but have not set a cap and seven set higher caps at 20-40 per cent.
According to the journal, more than 13,000 people receiving continuing healthcare funding could be affected.
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents care home providers said:
“For many years, people have been denied choice in both home and residential care, and it is no surprise to me that CCGs are going to restrict social care funding.
“However, if somebody is eligible for CCG funding for home care, and then they would presumably be eligible for FNC funding, so I cannot see how this makes much of the saving for the CCG budget.
“In general, the system needs to remember that politicians have committed themselves to enabling people to have choice, and it is for the CCGs and local authorities, to make good on that commitment, which is not only a political objective, but is enshrined in law.”
Norman Lamb, a former social care minister and Lib Dem MP, said: –
“It is outrageous to force people in to care homes if they want to stay at home and if they are able to live there.”
Whether these plans to limit the choices of older people and the disabled in relation to their care do take place, is yet to be seen. Nevertheless, it has the potential to affect more than 13,000 people who receive continuing healthcare funding, a large group of vulnerable people.