EY: long term care must now look at greater integration between health and local government to provide ‘free’ social care

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John Baker, EY Head of Local Public Services said:

“Ernst and Young welcomes the long-awaited approach to tackling the social care funding gap which will contribute to ensuring that some of the most vulnerable elderly people in our society are not exposed to the significant risk of paying for their own care.

"EY are currently working with local authorities looking at the issue of social care funding. We believe that the debate needs to move on to greater integration with health services, as this will have a significant impact on the social care funding gap, perhaps even greater than that proposed today. By breaking down the barriers between health and local government and investing in free community care, many of the primary concerns of high residential costs can be eliminated, such as families selling homes to pay for care – a minimised cost to government. Across England we have estimated that the savings of this approach could be up to £12 billion over 5 years.

"What is required is a greater focus on delivering services in the community jointly with health and less focus on high cost bed-based services and breaking down a number of organisational boundaries.

"EY believe that the evidence for this approach supports a reduced financial commitment and improved outcomes for older people which could, in the right environment, make free personal care pay for itself."