Wednesday 11 April 2018 / 12:20 PM Barbara Keeley / Social Care

Labour’s National Care Service will encourage ethical commissioning and cap social care costs

Barbara Keeley MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Social Care, will outline some of the principles of Labour’s National Care Service in a speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services today.

This will include the implementation of a maximum cap or limit on care costs at a lower level than currently set in the Care Act regulations and the raising of the asset threshold to a higher level than under the current system.

On the care cost cap, Barbara Keeley MP will say:

“A cap will enable people to plan for their care and it will introduce a way of sharing the risk of paying for care across the population. Everyone will contribute, to avoid individuals facing catastrophic care costs.”

Labour will also encourage councils to explore more ethical ways of commissioning services to spur innovation, drive up quality and create a more vibrant provider sector.

On ethical commissioning Barbara Keeley MP will say:

“we will explore ways to ensure that commissioners purchase care from providers with certain workforce terms and conditions as a minimum requirement from providers who have effective training, development and supervision, as well as those who sign up to ethical care agreements.”

Labour will deliver a new system of care in several stages, first investing £8 billion across the Parliament, with £1 billion up front this year, to improve the quality and availability of care.

On funding Barbara Keeley MP will say:

“This would be enough to offer a real living wage to care staff and it would have been enough to start to offer more publicly-funded care packages. Our current pledged investment will begin to address the problems in our unstable care market. It will begin to improve care quality and restore much-needed public confidence in the care system.”

Labour would then introduce the National Care Service, at a cost of £3 billion per year, which would be enough to pay for a cap on costs. This would be paid for either through wealth taxes, an employer care contribution or a social care levy.