About the Commission

The Commission was set up in July 2010, following a commitment in the Government’s coalition agreement, Our Programme for Government.  We were asked to make recommendations on how to achieve an affordable and sustainable funding system or systems for care and support, for all adults in England, both in the home and other settings.

Terms of Reference

Our remit was set in the Terms of Reference given to us by Government. Specifically, we were asked to examine and provide deliverable recommendations on:

  • How best to meet the costs of care and support as a partnership between individuals and the state;
  • How people could choose to protect their assets, especially their homes, against the cost of care
  • How, both now and in the future, public funding for the care and support system can be best used to meet care and support needs
  • How any option can be delivered, including an indication of the timescale for implementation, and its impact on local government (and the local government finance system), the NHS, and – if appropriate – financial regulation

View our Terms of reference PDF (12KB)


Under our Terms of Reference we were asked to agree with Government the criteria by which we would assess future options for the funding of care and support. We agreed the following criteria:

  • Sustainable and resilient: ensuring the costs to the state are sustainable in the long-term, and the care and support system is able to respond to demographic, economic, political, and societal change
  • Fairness: for individuals, families, carers and wider society
  • Choice: offering an affordable choice to individuals, carers and families across a range of care settings, and helping people to prepare and plan for their future
  • Value for Money: securing the highest quality care outcomes with the available resources
  • Ease of use and understanding: making the system as clear and simple as possible for people, supporting people to take responsibility for their future wellbeing

These criteria build on the four criteria that the Government originally outlined in the Terms of Reference for the Commission. We expanded the sustainability criterion by adding the concept of resilience, as we believe that for any funding system to be sustainable it will need to be able to adapt to future change.

We also decided to add a further criterion focusing on ease of use and understanding. Currently, many people are not aware of how the current system works – mistakenly believing social care is free at the point of use, like health care, and paid for through National Insurance contributions. This means people often don’t plan or prepare for the future costs they may face. We also understand that those using care and support services, and their friends, families and carers, can sometimes find the system complicated to understand and navigate. It is vital that any new funding system is as clear, and as accessible, as possible.

In addition to the criteria, we also believe there are two overarching principles that need to underpin any future system of care and support and be reflected in out recommendations:

  • Firstly, the funding system must promote the well-being of individuals and families – enabling people to maintain their dignity, protecting those in the most vulnerable circumstances, and helping everyone to participate in the wider community.
  • Secondly, any future system must recognise and value the contributions of everyone involved in care and support, including individuals; carers and families; volunteers and professional carers; private, public and charitable sector organisations; tax-payers and wider society. As outlined in the Terms of Reference, our recommendations will cover all adults in England – working-age and older people.

Call for Evidence

On 1 December 2010 we launched the ‘Call for Evidence’ to hear your ideas on what a future funding system for care and support should look like.

This Call for Evidence was particularly aimed at asking those with an interest in future funding models to provide their expert view. The document below sets out our role and remit, our analysis of the current system and where we, at the time of releasing this, thought reform was needed. It explained how we plan to assess possible options and then asked a series of questions.

The Call for Evidence closed on 28 January.  The Commission is grateful for all the submissions it has been sent in response.  The input and insights of individuals and organisations will help us develop recommendations for a fair and sustainable future funding system.

A summary of our analysis of all the responses that were received can be found below.

The Commission has analysed all the responses that were received and published a summary document of these responses: Response to the Call to Evidence for Commissioners PDF (97KB)

Recommendations to Government

On 4 July 2011, the Commission reported to Government with its finding and recommendations for a new funding system.

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