FINANCE: Implementing the Dilnot report’s recommendations for reforming social care funding would cost Surrey an extra £100m per year, its county council has estimated.

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support, chaired by Andrew Dilnot, last year recommended that a cap of £35,000 be introduced on the amount an individual would have to pay on their own care costs – above which the state would pay for care, regardless of wealth.

Surrey Council Council has estimated that implementing the recommendations could cost it in excess of £100m due to the high number of current self funders in the county.

Speaking last week at a council event in Woking, strategic director for adult social care Sarah Mitchell said: “The price of this for Surrey is enormous in its implementation.”

She said 80 per cent of older people in Surrey were currently self funders – around 32,000 people – compared to 5 to 10 per cent in the Midlands or North.

She said that if around 20 per cent of that 32,000 were found to qualify for free care under the new proposals, it would cost the council £102m annually.

The cost of assessing current self funders for when they would reach the £35,000 cap would also be “significant”, she said, estimating that around 8,000 people a year would require assessment at a cost of £400 each.

Despite the cost to Surrey, Ms Mitchell said Mr Dilnot’s recommendations could have a “really positive impact for the people we serve” and called on the government to be “brave and bold” in implementing them. “The actual opportunity for a difference in quality of experience and life would be huge,” she said.

Mr Dilnot himself also addressed the event.