The National Care Forum has noted the government response
to the recent Competition and Markets Authority report into the older peoples residential care market.
The government has broadly accepted the recommendations of the CMA.
Vic Rayner, NCF Executive Director, says in response
“The government response is strong on acceptance, but limited on action. We are once again told that the green paper will address all of the long term concerns around market sustainability, but this will feel like cold comfort for providers who felt that the CMA report accurately reflected the fragility of the market right here, right now”.
In addition, the government appears keen to boost consumer understanding and advocacy, to ensure that when people enter the care sector, they fully understand what it is they want, and what they should expect. However, whilst welcoming this focus on consumer empowerment, Vic Rayner says,
“Consumers of care should all be better informed about their rights, the quality of care, how to access services and what to do if the service they find is unsatisfactory. The government response is right to strengthen this requirement, but it must ensure that this happens for all consumers, whether paying for their own care, or having it funded through the local authority. It is not clear from the existing proposals that there is any recognition or ambition to address the differential contractual terms that can exist between local authority and self-funding contracts. Yet current local authority contracts can limit an individual’s ability to exercise choice and control”.