A joint report on the long-term funding of adult social care, released today by the House of Commons Health and Social Care and Housing, Communities and Local Government Committees, describes the “very great and unsustainable strain,” the social care system is under. The report highlights a substantial funding gap and calls for additional funding to meet future demand, to meet the care needs of everyone, and to improve the quality of care delivered.
Caroline Abrahams, co-Chair of the CSA and Charity Director at Age UK, has responded to the report, saying that:
“This important new report agrees with the growing consensus that our social care system is unable to meet the needs of older people and disabled adults today, let alone the much greater numbers expected to require care in a few years’ time. The big question is, what as a society we are going to do about this and we share the MPs’ conclusion that we need a bold new vision for what good care looks like, plus enough funding to deliver it.”
“Rescuing our current care system and transforming it so it provides good quality care for everyone who needs it will cost billions more and the chances are we will all have to put our hands in our pockets to help raise it. In their report, the MPs suggest that people who are better off should be asked to pay quite a lot more in various ways, including older people themselves. While this may seem like a bitter pill, it just might be one worth swallowing – but only in exchange for a social care system that we can all rely on and have confidence in, should we need it.”
“The Committee’s conclusions were informed by a lot of work with members of the public, who are reported to have strongly supported the idea of social care being free at the point of use like the NHS, if not straight away than gradually over time. Traditionally, this has been viewed by experts as too expensive, but if we are going to need to raise a lot more money to restore social care, it seems sensible to listen to what people say they want and run social care in ways they are prepared to get behind. This is also what’s on offer in Scotland so it’s surely worth looking again at the feasibility as well as the desirability of doing something similar in England.”
For media enquiries, please contact Liz Fairweather on 0203 033 1718 or at Liz.Fairweather@ageuk.org.uk