The future of self-funded care

With the general election fast approaching and the launch of party manifestos, we have seen a renewed interest in social care and the ongoing debate on its funding.

First came Labour, who revealed that it would introduce a ‘National Care Service’, promising an additional £8bn for social care over the lifetime of the next Parliament. The manifesto also pledged to increase the Carer’s Allowance for unpaid full-time carers, bringing it in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance.

This was swiftly followed by the Conservative’s manifesto announcement, which revealed plans for all care costs to be assessed against an individual’s total assets, including their home, subject to a floor of £100,000 that would be left untouched. For the first time, we are seeing a proposal for a majority of people to contribute to care costs, whether home-based or in a residential or nursing home. (At present, the value of someone’s home is not included in the £23,250 of assets someone can have before they lose the right to free care at home.)

The Conservative’s proposal indicates a shift in policy away from previous plans to raise council tax, and towards a model of care that relies on self-funding, even if many don’t end paying the full amount until after they die. Many people who were previously intending to rely on the State to fund care will now need to consider how or if they pay for care at home.

Moving mountains to fund care

If we accept the assumption that Government now expects more people to fund their own care, we should also be asking what schemes, if any, it plans to create to help people achieve this.

One option would be an arrangement similar to a stakeholder pension, whereby people are mandated to set aside a minimum proportion of their income each month. The money would be allocated to a fund which would be set aside exclusively for their care needs in later life.

An alternative and more flexible policy would be to facilitate the creation of private care funds with significant tax incentives, similar to ISAs. The Government has adopted a similar policy in its attempts to support first-time homebuyers, and it would therefore make sense for t to adopt a similar savings incentives for older age.

Whatever financial scheme is put in place the fact remains that a seismic shift in public attitude is going to be required. At present, a majority of people believe they are entitled to high quality State-funded care, a legacy of the NHS’ universal healthcare principle. The unfortunate reality is that as demand for care services continues to rise, so will the financial pressures on this unsustainable model. The change towards contributing towards our care is gaining momentum. The question is: how to make the unpalatable more palatable?

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

Do I need a driving licence?

A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.