Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, commented:
‘The House of Lords report shines a welcome light on the perilous state of adult social care in England. Since 2010, funding has fallen in real terms while need has grown and, as a result, many individuals and their families have been left to cope without vital support. The committee is absolutely right that social care now needs a substantial injection of public funding to ensure that those in need have access to care, and to tackle the growing workforce crisis. Research by the Health Foundation and The King’s Fund has shown that restoring levels of quality and access to those seen in 2009/10 as the committee recommends would require an additional £8bn cash injection next year.
‘While additional funding will help stabilise the sector, the House of Lords report is further evidence that the current means-tested system doesn’t work and needs fundamental reform. The government must now find the political will to bring about a fairer, more sustainable system that protects more people from the catastrophic costs of care. It is inevitable that any serious reform will be expensive. If we don’t want to further damage wider public services, the money will need to come from increased taxation. With so many failed attempts at reform, we now need an honest and open public debate about the level of support that the state will provide and how this will be paid for.
‘The committee has ultimately underlined that doing nothing is no longer a viable option and that social care reform must be at the top of the policy agenda for whoever next leads the country.’
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