Archbishop in call to reform care funding

The Archbishop of York has called for an urgent reform to the way care is funded for older people in England in an open letter to the Prime Minister.

Dr John Sentamu wrote to David Cameron and taxpayers in England stating that the current system is no longer fit for purpose and asking the Government to consider a new agreement.

He said a report published earlier this year recommending that a cap on individual contributions to social care costs was set at £35,000 “had shown us the way forward”.

The Archbishop said: “The current adult care funding system in England is widely acknowledged to be unfit for purpose and to need urgent and lasting reform.

“The report of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, chaired by Andrew Dilnot (the Dilnot Commission), published earlier this year, has shown us the way forward.

“Whether or not the political parties can come together to implement the Commission’s recommendations will be an important signal of our confidence and ability to build for the future of our society as well as of our economy, at this time of particular social as well as economic difficulty.”

He continued: “What is needed is a system for funding care which enables the risk to any one individual to be pooled, through taxation or insurance or, preferably, a mix of them both.”

The Dilnot Commission recommended that the state should pick up the cost of care beyond £35,000, at an estimated cost to the public purse of less than £2 billion.

The Archbishop said: “Such a system will provide sufficient certainty to enable people to plan ahead, and allow the financial services industry to develop insurance and other products to help them with their planning. It will also help the poorest in our society the most.”

Dr Sentamu said society should place value on the wisdom of older people in order to help build a future for younger generations.