"But just increasing fees and not providing a better service is simply not on: there needs to be a great deal more holding to account, because we are certain there is potential for both efficiencies and improvement in the health and care system – and we speak as a significant care provider in our own right, providing some two million hours of care a week.
“Nevertheless, we are desperately hopeful that after a nightmare 2011 for people who need care that we are about to see the back of bad news for the elderly.
“Hardly a day went by in 2011 without a report revealing the worsening state of provision of social care for the most vulnerable, ranging from the petty to the appalling.
“We are fascinated to discover whether 2012 will yield anything positive or progressive from the government in terms of addressing the care issue. There has been a yawning silence throughout 2011, despite the best efforts of Andrew Dilnot and a raft of organisations to highlight not just the impending care catastrophe, but also outlining realistic solutions.”
"Saga believes that the government should adopt Dilnot's capped partnership framework and incentivise care savings plans, including tax relief or additional ISA allowances if saving for later life care and encouraging more people to have earlier help at home. Handrails, alarms, telehealth, telecare and such like are investments that can keep older people well in their homes for longer."