A sustainable social care system

Based on current spending, our analysis shows that a social care funding gap of £18bn will open up by 2030/31

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Social care is the provision of personal care or support to children or adults in need or at risk. This care or support can be both practical and emotional – and the individual’s needs might stem from illness, disability, old age or poverty. Within the UK social care policy is devolved across the four nations.

Whereas the health care system is free at the point of use, in England social care is means-tested, which remains a source of inequity and unfairness. Particularly at a time where social care funding is falling per capita in real terms, reducing the amount and quality of social care that is publicly provided.

An ageing population and increase in the number of younger adults living with disabilities are pushing up the cost of caring for older and disabled people, placing the social care system under huge strain. While all four nations are facing the same demand pressures, the social care system in England needs adequate funding to return to previous levels of access and quality, in addition to the rising demand and costs.

Our research and analysis of social care aims to inform policymaking and ensure the debate is evidence-based and focused on the future.

Long read

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

About 15 mins to read

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

Public acceptability of health and social care funding options

Working paper
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February 2019

This paper explores the preferences of the general public with regard to the various ways of raising the additional funds needed for health and social care in the UK.

Funding challenges of the social care system in England

Consultation response
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November 2018

Our response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry into the funding challenges of the social care system in England.

Demand for adult social care services has increased by 1.6% since 2015-16

Press release
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23 October 2018

Health Foundation response to NHS Digital data on Adult Social Care and Finance Activity

The interface between health and social care

Consultation response
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July 2018

Our submission sets out the key challenges and enablers for health and social care integration.

Health Foundation response to NAO's report on the health and social care interface

Press release
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4 July 2018

New report helpfully summarises a whole range of barriers that must be overcome, but the focus needed to overcome these will be extremely difficult to find with the social care system in such a perilo...

Identifying options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK: international evidence

Working paper
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June 2018

This working paper explores how other countries approach funding their health and social care systems.

Approaches to social care funding

Consultation response
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June 2018

Our submission to the Health and Social Care and Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committees on social care funding.

Health Foundation responds to HSC and HCLG report on long term funding of adult social care

Press release
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27 June 2018

This report is a further reminder that England’s social care system is beyond patch up and mend, and requires fundamental reform.

New figures reveal 82% of British public support increase in social care spending

Press release
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13 June 2018

NHS Confederation-commissioned research from the Health Foundation and IFS sets out strong evidence supporting an increase in spending on social care.

Health Foundation responds to the Association for the Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) survey

Press release
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12 June 2018

The report from ADASS is yet more evidence of the fragile state of social care.

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