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Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Social care 'cannot go on like this'

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An open letter to David Cameron has called on him to work with rival politicians in order to reform social care for older and disabled people in England.

"Everyone accepts that we cannot go on like this," Richard Humphries, senior fellow in social care at the King's Fund health think tank, told presenter James Naughtie.

Explaining the findings of the Dilnot commission, he said the key recommendation was the idea that everyone is expected to pay something towards the cost to their care up to a cap, beyond which the government would cover the cost.

Former Conservative cabinet minister John Redwood welcomed the letter but said that the Dilnot report was too focused on "protecting the inheritance of the children" of the patient concerned and not enough on the quality of the care for elderly people.

Lord Warner said that there is "nothing magical" about the figure of the cap. "The big point", he believes, is you will not push up the quality of the care for elderly people without "increasing the size of the social care pot".

The former health minister added that "one of the weaknesses" of the current system is that there are "relatively few" financial products that enable elderly people to save up for their care.


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