Norman Lamb, the Lib Dems' shadow health secretary, (pictured) said: ‘The Liberal Democrats believe that this statement provides the basis for a national debate on social care. The social care system in this country is currently not fit for purpose and is crying out for reform. We have to move on from cheap political point scoring. The issue is too important to be used as a political football.'
The Lib Dem statement calls for:
- Funding of social care on a partnership basis, with the state providing a proportion of total care costs, regardless of means. For those who currently receive care free under existing means-testing rules, they would continue to receive this support. The extent of central taxpayer support must reflect the need for overall fiscal controls and responsibility.
- A national care service, to enable assessments of need for support and for care to be portable across the country.
- If recipients wish it, support should be provided in the form of a personal budget or direct payment.
- Care recipients should have access to a care plan, reflecting their needs and wishes.