On 8 December, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) adopted a recommendation on long-term care in the EU. The recommendation was made as part of the European Commission’s European Care Strategy, which also included a recommendation on early years care and education. The Commission recommends that Member States draw up national action plans to make care in the EU more available and accessible, as well as improving the quality. Some of the key provisions within the recommendation include:
• Ensuring that long-term care is timely, comprehensive and affordable
• Increasing the offer and mix of professional long-term care services (including homecare, community-based care and residential care etc.)
• Closing territorial gaps in the access to long-term care, as well as ensuring that long-term care services and facilities are accessible to people with disabilities
• Ensuring high-quality criteria and standards for long-term care providers
• Supporting informal carers through training, counselling, psychological and financial support
• Mobilising adequate and sustainable funding for long-term care, including by using EU funds.
The Care Strategy will also include a dedicated framework of indicators that will be used to monitor countries’ progress. The European Commission will support Member States through EU funding, mutual learning, and better data, with a progress report due to be submitted to the Council within 5 years. The full long-term care recommendation is available at: