Care boss: Government is 'picking at the edges' of the 'fundamental' problem in adult social care

16 July 2021, 17:22 | Updated: 16 July 2021, 17:27

By Tim Dodd

Care boss Tony Stein tells LBC the government is "picking around the edges" of the "fundamental" problem impacting the sector, as the PM backs proposals for a tax to fund social care.

Tony Stein is Chief Executive at Healthcare Management Solutions, who operate 70 care homes across the UK.

Shelagh began by expressing her frustrations at the current adult social care system, saying: "It's frequent that you find the system is king, and the individual isn't, and it drives me nuts."

Mr Stein replied: "The fundamental reason underpinning all of what you've just said, is that budgets are split. The budget for healthcare is the responsibility of the NHS and central government. The budget for social care is the responsibility of local authorities, many of whom are almost bust - let's face it.

"So there's a fight going on in the background between who takes the responsibility for meeting the needs of the individual at the time those needs arise... and that fundamental principle has to be addressed before any of this gets fixed.

"At the point of needing social care, you are thrown into a ridiculous mellay of form-filling and means testing, and assessment, and people not really wanting to take that responsibility. And it's that particular point in your life when you're probably least able to deal with those issues.

"If you get to an age where you can no longer put yourself to bed, or you can't get washed in the morning, then the nightmare begins. As a nation we've really got to address that fundamental problem before we begin to pick at the edges with social care reforms and £50,000 caps and all this rubbish."

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Shelagh asked: "So is the answer more taxation specifically for this?"

"That over 40s thing is a complete myth," Mr Stein replied, referencing previous reports that over-40s could be asked to pay more tax to fund the cost of adult social care.

"If you think about it, if care needs are deemed the same as healthcare needs, and the government takes responsibility... then the under 40s are going to benefit, because the house isn't going to need to be sold to meet the care needs, so you're actually going to inherit something."

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