Bloomberg News

Britain’s Funding of Care for Elderly Must Change, Lansley Says

July 03, 2011

July 4 (Bloomberg) -- Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said Britain needs to overhaul the way it funds care for its old people, as he awaited the publication of a report that may recommend capping the amount the elderly have to pay.

“We will not be able to give people the quality of care and support and the sense of security that they need in the future unless we have change,” Lansley told BBC television’s “Andrew Marr Show” yesterday. “If we carry on as we are, we’re going to have increasingly large numbers of people” who will create “more cost to the state later on.”

Andrew Dilnot, a former director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies who’s drawn up the report on funding to be published in London today, said last week that putting a cap on elderly people’s contributions to the cost would allay concerns that they might have to sell their home or eat into their savings to pay for care.

“If a cap were put in place, we could take away the fear that people would lose everything that they had built up, and in particular people seem reasonably anxious that they might lose all the value of their house,” Dilnot told BBC News. “They still have to pay something but much less than if they end up with high care needs as it is at the moment.”

Currently, elderly people with more than 23,000 pounds ($37,000) in capital, including the value of their home, are regarded as being able to meet the full cost of their care. The BBC said Dilnot would recommend that their contribution should be capped at 35,000 pounds.

Lansley said the government would give Dilnot’s report a “very positive response,” though he refused to be drawn on the possible level at which a cap would be set or how it would be paid.

--Editors: Fergal O’Brien, Kristen Hallam

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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