Insurer Partnership says councils face flood of inquiries when £72,000 care cap is introduced

21st November 2013

The introduction of the £72,000 Care Cap in April 2016 should see councils experience a surge of inquiries as people contact them for assessments in order to start their care account ticking says specialist insurer Partnership.

Currently 19% of people contact their local council for information if they are choosing a care home for themselves or a relative a decision is driven by the relative wealth of the person going into care. Numbers in London are lowest with 9% compared with 30% in the West Midlands.

Under the new system, in addition to a person’s finances their level of need will also play a part in the decision. Partnership anticipates that not only will those currently looking for care contact their councils but also the thousands of people who are already paying for their residential (155,696) or domiciliary care (168,701).

Table One – Proportion of People Already in Care Who Are likely to Contact Local Government For Information:

Region Proportion who approached local council for information Percentage of care home residents who pay for all their care No. of self-funders who may contact local Government when the Care Cap is introduced
West Midlands 30% 43% 12,910
East Midlands 24% 40% 11,831
North East 20% 22% 4,853
North West 20% 38% 19,006
Yorkshire 19% 39% 14,588
East 16% 50% 20,063
South East 16% 55% 36,484
South West 13% 53% 25,113
London 9% 37% 10,850

Some councils due to the relatively high number of older people and large proportion of self-funders will be hit harder than others with those in the South East (36,484) and the South West (25,113) due to be under the most pressure.

Chris Horlick, managing director of Care at Partnership says: “With just under one in five people typically contacting their council for information on residential care, the introduction of the Care Cap is likely to lead to a significant increase in the number of consumers looking for information.

“Not only will local government need to deal with people who are currently seeking assessment but also those who are already in care and wish to find out if they are eligible to start their care account ticking. This will place a significant burden on councils – especially those in the South East and South West – as they struggle to manage the demands of their residents while also cutting their budgets.

“It is vital that people recognise that while the Care Cap is a step forward, they will still need to pay a significant amount towards their care and getting regulated independent financial advice could help to make this process far easier.”

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