Charities have warned that plans to transform social care by giving elderly people cash to buy services will not end the caring crisis.

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, announced that a scheme to provide elderly and disabled people with personal budgets to buy care would be introduced from April. The initiative will be funded by an extra 520m over the next three years. Recipients of the cash will have control over how it is spent, to enable them to live independently.

Charities said the move signalled a "revolution" in social care, but stressed it must be made available to all who could benefit. Liz Sayce, at Radar, a charity for disabled people, warned: "The Government must introduce national minimum standards of care to ensure no one goes without the support they need."