Finding a solution to the growing adult social care crisis in England is increasingly recognised as a top priority for the next government.

We hosted a breakfast seminar on Thursday 21 November at which the options for reforming the adult social care system were set out by leading social care and economic experts.

This event, organised in partnership with the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), outlined both the policy and funding priorities for adult social care, as well as the wider context which has led to inaction on this issue thus far.

Hear from our experts below, and scroll down for more information and to view the complete livestream.

What will it take to fix social care?

Seminar livestream


Andrew Dilnot is Warden of Nuffield College Oxford and Chair of the Geospatial Commission.  He was Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority from 2012 to 2017, and was the Chairman of the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, which reported in 2011.  He was Principal of St Hugh’s College, Oxford, from 2002 to 2012 and a Pro Vice Chancellor of Oxford University from 2005 to 2012. He was Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies from 1991 to 2002.  He was the founding presenter of BBC Radio 4’s series on the beauty of numbers, ‘More or Less’ and has presented two series of programmes on Radio 4 ‘A History of Britain in Numbers’.  

Andrew has served on the Social Security Advisory Committee, the National Consumer Council, the Councils of the Royal Economic Society and Queen Mary and Westfield College, as a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation, and as chairman of the Statistics Users Forum of the Royal Statistical Society.  He holds Honorary Doctorates from City University and The Open University, and a City and Guilds Fellowship.  He was given an Honorary Fellowship by the British Academy in July 2018. 

Andrew Dilnot

Anita Charlesworth is the Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, and Honorary Professor in the College of Social Sciences at the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) at the University of Birmingham.

Before joining the Health Foundation in May 2014, Anita was Chief Economist at the Nuffield Trust (2010-14) where she led the Trust’s work on health care financing and market mechanisms. Prior to that she had roles as Chief Analyst and Chief Scientific Advisor at DCMS (2007-10), Director of Public Spending at the Treasury (1998-2007), where she led the team working with Sir Derek Wanless on his 2002 reform of NHS funding and worked as an Economic Advisor at DH and for SmithKline Beecham pharmaceuticals.  She has worked as a non-executive director in the NHS – for Islington PCT (2007-2011) and The Whittington Hospital (2011-2016). She was specialist advisor to the House of Lords' select committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS.

Anita has an MSc in Health Economics from the University of York and is a Trustee of Tommy’s, the baby charity. She was awarded a CBE in The Queen's 2017 Birthday Honours List for Services to Economics and Health Policy.

Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation

Paul has been Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies since January 2011.  

Paul has previously worked at the FSA and has been Chief Economist at the Department for Education and Director of Public Spending in HM Treasury as well as Deputy Head of the UK Government Economic Service.  

A visiting professor at UCL, Paul has published and broadcast extensively on the economics of public policy including tax, welfare, inequality and poverty, pensions, education, climate change and public finances, and he is author of major books on pensions, tax and inequality as well as a co-author of the “Mirrlees review” of tax system design.  

Paul is currently a member of the Climate Change Committee, member of the banking standards board. He has previously served on the council of the Economic and Social Research Council. He was a founder council member of the Pensions Policy Institute. He has led reviews of the policy of auto-enrolment into pensions for the DWP and of price statistics for the UKSA. 

Paul Johnson

Dr Jennifer Dixon joined the Health Foundation as Chief Executive in October 2013.

Jennifer was Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust from 2008 to 2013. Prior to this, she was Director of Policy at The King’s Fund and was the policy advisor to the Chief Executive of the National Health Service between 1998 and 2000. Jennifer has undertaken research and written widely on health care reform both in the UK and internationally.

Originally trained in medicine, Jennifer practised mainly paediatric medicine, prior to a career in policy analysis. She has a Master’s in public health and a PhD in health services research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1990–91, Jennifer was a Harkness Fellow in New York.

Jennifer has served as a Board member on several national regulatory bodies: the Health Care Commission 2004–2009; the Audit Commission 2003–2012; and the Care Quality Commission 2013–2016. She has led two national inquiries for government: on the setting up of published ratings of quality of NHS and social care providers in England (2013); and on the setting up of ratings for general practices (2015). She was also a member of the Parliamentary Review Panel for the Welsh Assembly Government advising on the future strategy for the NHS and social care in Wales (2017–2018).

In 2009, Jennifer was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and in 2019 was elected as a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was awarded a CBE for services to public health in 2013, and a Doctor of Science from Bristol University in 2016. She has held visiting professorships at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the London School of Economics, and Imperial College Business School.

Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation

More on social care


How are the political promises for health and social care stacking up?

30 October 2019

Ahead of a general election, Jennifer Dixon looks at what the parties have pledged so far.

Long read

What should be done to fix the crisis in social care? ARCHIVED

About 15 mins to read

Long read

Five messages for government about priorities and options for social care reform in England.


Social care funding: public perceptions and preferences

10 October 2019

Anita Charlesworth reflects on findings about public preferences for adult social care funding.

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