Thank you for contacting me about dementia care.
Any constituent with concerns about their own care should contact my office to see if we can raise those concerns as an individual case as should any constituent with wider concerns about the care available in Calder Valley.
I believe that increasing public awareness and understanding of dementia among the wider public is vital to ensure that people are supported to live well with the condition.
Research is crucial to understanding and tackling dementia. Under the Challenge on Dementia 2020 strategy, the Government's commitment to spend over £300 million on dementia research between 2015 and 2020 was met a year early, with £341 million being spent by March 2019. The Government is also supporting the £79 million Accelerating Detection of Disease challenge, a project bringing together the NHS, industry and leading charities to support research into the early diagnosis of disease, including dementia.
The Government remains committed to research to combat dementia, and will shortly lay out plans for supporting people with dementia in England up to 2025 - I look forward to seeing these plans and funding commitments at the next Spending Review. I will work with my colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure that the manifesto commitment to double research funding to over £160 million each year by 2030 is delivered as swiftly as is possible.
In addition, research through the National Institute for Health Research was commissioned on how to manage or mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on people living in the community with dementia and their carers. The research has considered the best ways to support people to stay well during the outbreak, including help to manage the psychological and social impacts of social distancing, self-isolation, and lockdown. You can find more information, including summary leaflets, here: http://www.idealproject.org.uk/covid/
The Government is working closely with those who support people living with dementia, including health services, local authorities and the care sector to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia and to identify what additional actions may be required to ensure safety, and access to the right support and care.
Unfortunately, due to prior commitments I was unable to attend Alzheimer Research event on 15th September and other commitments limited my attendance at Conference but I continue to follow this issue closely.
Turning to the issue of social care, you are right that the social care system could be working better both for those who use it and for those caring for others.
The Government is committed to taking the difficult decisions and tackling these problems head on, creating a sustainable adult care system that is fit for the future.
An extra £36 billion will be invested in the health and care system over the next three years, including £5.4 billion in adult social care, to ensure it has the resources it needs to recover from the pandemic. In order to fund such a significant increase in permanent spending, the Government has had to make the tough but responsible choice to increase taxes. A new 1.25 per cent dedicated Health and Social Care Levy, based on National Insurance Contributions, is therefore being introduced.
From October 2023, nobody starting care will have to pay more than £86,000 for their personal care over their lifetime, a seismic change in the way care is paid for. As a result, people will rightly no longer have to suffer the fear caused by unpredictable or unlimited care costs.
The level at which the state will cover a person’s care costs will be raised from £14,250 to £20,000. Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will contribute to the cost of their care but will receive means-tested state support, an upper limit over four times higher than the current one.
Of course, while absolutely vital, these changes alone will not solve the long term problems in the social care system. At the heart of the plan is greater integration between the NHS and social care, and investing in the quality of care and in carers themselves. This is key to achieving the person-centred care and reduction of pressures on both services that I am sure we are all keen to see. I am told that, over the coming months, the Government will be working alongside the social care sector to develop a “Blueprint for Adult Social Care” which will set out further details on proposals, including new support for unpaid carers, investment in housing and technology and better information to help those who need care to navigate the system.
This is an important start to reforming social care in this country and I look forward to seeing how the Government’s plans progress. As your MP, I can assure you that I will be engaged in all discussions about these reforms and continue to represent the views of constituents.
Along with other MPs I have made sure that colleagues at HM Treasury know about the suggestions you and many others are making for the Spending Review taking place this year. While I am regrettably not in a position to pre-empt the conclusions of the review, I am assured by my colleagues that they are aware of the points raised. The conclusions will be announced to Parliament alongside the Autumn Budget on October 27th.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP