News Story

One year on from Dilnot: 9 in 10 of public reject current social care system

July 4, 2012

One year after the Dilnot Commission’s report into the funding of long term care,  an ICM poll reveals that 89% of English adults believe that older and disabled people shouldn’t have to bear all the costs for support with everyday tasks such as eating, washing and dressing, even if they have a small amount of savings

This represents a wholesale rejection of the current system, in which if you have more than £23,500 in savings and need support with basic tasks like eating, washing, dressing or leaving the house you have to pay the full costs of that care.

At present, every adult in England has a one in two chance of needing care costing £20,000 or more in life and a one in ten chance of needing care costing £100,000 or more. Once you move into a residential home the value of your house is included in calculating your savings.

Under the Dilnot proposals, a suggested £35,000 limit would be placed on the amount of money that an individual would have to pay towards their care.

Almost seven out of ten (68%) in the ICM poll commissioned by the Care and Support Alliance, believe that older and disabled people who need support with basic tasks don’t currently receive enough support.

The survey also revealed that nearly half of respondents (46%) know of someone in their family who has needed care and support with basic everyday tasks such as eating, washing and dressing and a further 4% had needed it themselves.  This shows that the issue of social care is one that touches all age groups and is far from being a niche concern.

The ICM poll of 1000 English adults was commissioned by the Care & Support Alliance, a coalition of more than 65 organisations representing older and disabled people.

Simon Gillespie, Chair of the Care & Support Alliance said: “The clear message from this polling is that the current system of unlimited costs for care is unacceptable to the public.

“This gives extra weight to our call to the Government for urgent reform of the social care system which leaves too many of our most vulnerable members of society without the support they need or terrified of spiralling costs.

“A year after the landmark Dilnot report into social care funding, we are still waiting for the Government to publish its long awaited White Paper on Social Care and, equally crucially, plans for how a future system would be funded.

“The longer they hold off on reform plans, the longer older and disabled people and their families continue to go without the support they need to live decent and dignified lives.”

The Care & Support Alliance is calling for the Coalition Government to publish its promised White Paper and funding progress report into long term care now – before the summer recess.  The Alliance warns any further delays are likely to hinder the progress of the draft Care and Support Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech last month and cause even more misery to the hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people who desperately need reform to happen.

The Care & Support Alliance is urging all those who care about the future of social care to write to their MP expressing their concerns and fears about the current system.

Notes to editors

The Care & Support Alliance is a consortium of over 65 organisations that represent and support older people, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions and their families. We are working together to promote urgent reform to tackle the crisis in our care system

ACEVO, Action for Advocacy, Action on Hearing Loss, Afiya Trust, Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Anchor, Carers Trust, Carers UK, Centre for Policy on Ageing, CLIC Sargent, Contact a FamilyDisabilities Trust, Disability Rights UK, ECCA, EDCM, Grandparents Plus, Guide Dogs, Help the Hospices, Home Group, Housing 21, Huntington’s Disease Association, Independent Age, Jewish Care, Learning Disability Coalition, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Macmillan Cancer Care, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Mencap, MND Association, MS Society, Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, NAT, National Autistic Society, National Care Forum, National Council for Palliative Care, National Family Carers Network, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, National Voices, Papworth Trust, Parkinson’s UK, Relatives and Residents Association, Resolution Foundation, Rethink Mental Illness, RNIB, Scope, Sense, Shaping Our Lives, Shared Lives Plus, Stroke Association, Sue Ryder Care, Terrence Higgins Trust, Turning Point, United Response, Vitalise, VoiceAbility, WRVS, United Kingdom Homecare Association.

We believe:

The social care system is broken. It cannot cope with a rapidly ageing population and people living longer with illness and disability. Urgent reform and additional funding are essential.

There is a huge public appetite for reform. Families will no longer tolerate a social care system which leaves many paying huge amounts for often inadequate support.

Extra funding is needed for our chronically undefunded care system. Yet social care budgets fell by £1billion last year.

The Dilnot recommendations are a practical and fair way forward on reducing the catastrophic costs faced by some families. They more fairly share the costs of care between individuals and the state.

It’s time to act. Reform now could build a fair and sustainable care system which delivers dignity, independence and peace of mind for older and disabled people and their families. Failure to act would continue a cycle of cuts, neglect and abuse in social care, at great cost to our economy, public services and society.