Prof Andrew Dilnot has insisted his government commission is not wedded to insurance as the solution to the care funding crisis.
The chair of the government’s social care funding commission referred repeatedly to the nation’s inability to insure against its future needs, but insisted his panel was not set on an insurance model for its recommendations.
Prof Dilnot, who chairs the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, told the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Manchester that the cost of social care was the only “major area of risk” that most people did not protect themselves against.
Prof Dilnot, who fed his panel’s initial ideas into the government’s spending review last month, said that opportunities to “to pool risk” would be a major focus of his panel’s work in the coming months.
“We’re going to be looking at all the various types of risk that are involved here and thinking about how they might be pooled,” he said.
“At the moment, we lack the opportunity to pool risk.
“If we don’t we incur further risk, or then we will try to self-insure, and then you have an unhelpful hoarding approach to as a form of insurance.”
Prof Dilnot’s comments, framed in a context of home insurance and motor insurance, were interpreted by some as in indication that his panel - which includes Dame Jo Williams and Lord Warner - was inclined towards an insurance model for their final recommendations, due in July next year.
Prof Dilnot insisted that was not the case.
“We are at this stage not anywhere near to promoting an insurance scheme,” he said. “There is no insurance scheme… just the recognition that people can’t be protected against the risk.
“We are not saying there should be a private insurance scheme, but that the lack is a risk: It’s vital that we tackle that.”
He added that his commission was keen to explore levels of unmet need that arose from the current care system and would soon launch a consultation featuring that as one area of interest.