The King’s Fund has reviewed and consolidated trustworthy data (openly available, published at least annually, comprehensive or based on representative samples, and obtained from a reliable sources) to analyse twenty key trends in adult social care in England. This review comprises six main sections:
- Access: inequalities in access to care and how has this changed in recent years.
- Expenditure. how much is spent on social care and what it costs councils.
- Providers: concerning care provider organisations.
- Workforce and Carers: the people working in care and the role of unpaid carers.
- Quality: evaluation of quality and satisfaction ratings.
- Integration: how well social care “joins-up” with related services.
Bottery, S. Ward, D. [and] Fenney, D. [et al] (2019). Social Care 360. [Online]: King’s Fund, April 2019.
The twenty trends covered are:
- Working-age adults increasingly ask for help.
- Older people are less likely to get support.
- The means test has got meaner.
- Conflicting evidence about need.
- Overall, a higher proportion of people are receiving disability benefits.
- Spending has fallen in real terms.
- It costs councils more to buy care.
- There are fewer residential and nursing home places available for older people.
- There are more jobs in the care sector.
- …but vacancies are growing.
- Mixed picture regarding support for carers.
- Care quality is rising. Probably.
- Service users say they’re satisfied.
- Public satisfaction is low.
- Direct payments remain at a low-level.
- Fewer people are entering care homes.
- Delayed transfers have improved.
- More people are receiving reablement.
- People are less likely to be receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare.
- The number of grants to improve disabled people’s homes has increased.
Centre for Policy Studies’ Proposals for Universal Care Entitlement With Annual Care Supplement / Optional Top-Up
The Centre for Policy Studies has proposed a Universal Care Entitlement similar to the state pension allowance (paid from taxation payable by persons over 50 years old). Extra funding could be raised through an Annual Care Supplement. Homeowners could make voluntary contributions of between £10,000 and £30,000 optionally as a form of “insurance” against loosing their homes and local government-appropriation of family assets to pay for care.
Social care: Homeowners urged to pay £30,000 towards care by downsizing. London: BBC Health News, April 29th 2019.
This relates to:
Damian Green MP (2019). Fixing the care crisis. London: Centre for Policy Studies, April 29th 2019.
There is also an Annex of international social care system comparisons.
The King’s Fund estimates that the £2 billion to £3 billion raised be the Centre for Policy Studies’ suggestions might be insufficient to meet the £7 billion social care shortfall. As such, the CPS proposals – if adopted – might offer a short-term fix only; carrying perhaps time-limited “social insurance / peace of mind” National Insurance-style promises, which may have to be reneged upon by future administrations (effectively creating – albeit unintentionally – another layer of deferred disappointment, on top of pre-existing state-backed Ponzi-style schemes).
The Four Seasons Health Care care home group has gone into administration.
Four Seasons Health Care goes into administration. London: BBC Health News, April 30th 2019.