What'sThe Problem With Social Care, And Why Do We Need To Do Better?
The NHS is celebrating its 70th birthday, but the anniversary of an equally important service is not being marked in the same way: adult social care.
Unlike the legislation that set up the NHS, the 1948 National Assistance Act did not nationalise social care services and create a familiar public institution, nor did it result in services being free at the point of use. Local authorities were obliged to provide accommodation for people who needed it on the grounds of age or disability, but could charge.
Across the UK, more people work in social care than in the NHS, with social care representing 6% of total UK employment, but the services and support delivered in social care are not well known. The public are increasingly aware of the pressures being faced by the NHS, but much less so about the challenges facing social care, and what that might mean if they or a family member develops social care needs.This briefing sets out the demand and funding pressures facing social care across the UK. It then looks in detail at the impact of these pressures in England and the barriers to funding reform.