The prime minister has agreed to introduce a cap on individuals’ social care costs.
Mr Cameron made the commitment alongside deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, at a press conference on Monday to launch the coalition government’s mid-term review. The review summarises policies introduced since the May 2010 election and outlines plans for future policy.
He did not announce the level of the cap or outline a timescale for introducing the reform.
At the conference Mr Cameron said: “We’ll set out big new steps on some of the hardest and most important long-term issues that will shape the future for generations to come… On social care, capping the potentially huge costs of long-term care faced by many families today so that people can have the certainty to plan for their long-term needs.”
The mid-term report said: “We will set out two big reforms to provide dignity in old age: an improved state pension that rewards saving, and more help with the costs of long-term care.”
In response, NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said: “While we are pleased the government remains committed to reforming social care funding, we desperately need to see more detail about how we will progress this and in what timeframe.
“Both the NHS and local government are under immense financial pressures. Any further procrastination on social care funding will be further exacerbated by the short term reductions in local council funding from next year.”
In April 2012 the Local Government Association said it had found a cross-party consensus within local government in support of capping care costs, and urged the leaders of the main parties nationally to support the scheme.
Capping care costs is also backed by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, although the group has warned that further reforms would also be needed to address a long-term shortfall in care budgets.