Queen’s Speech – The future of care for the elderly
The Queen’s Speech (May 2013) raised a number of issues (none of them terribly surprising) and this brief article will summarise the proposals for changes to be made to social care in the UK.
A Care Bill will introduce a £75,000 cap on the amount people in England have to pay for social care, in order to end a situation where pensioners have to sell their homes to pay for care in their final years.
Millions of people caring for elderly and disabled relatives in England will be given the right to receive support from their local councils. This is a welcome recognition of the tireless efforts of carers in the UK and should help them access the support that they need.
In response to the Mid-Staffordshire health scandal, the Care Bill will introduce an Ofsted-style rating system for hospitals and care homes and give the new Chief Inspector of Hospitals more powers to identify problems with the quality of care and ensure action is taken more swiftly.
A Pensions Bill will introduce a single-tier pension, worth around £144 a week at today’s prices, and will bring forward to 2026 the date at which the retirement age rises to 67.