Intended for healthcare professionals

News News Analysis

Social care: pressure mounts for urgent and radical reform

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 05 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4564

Linked Opinion

Anita Charlesworth: We need a social care system that is as much a source of national pride as the NHS

  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Long delays in publishing a green paper have meant that increasing numbers of people are missing out on support at home, but is a solution in sight? Jacqui Wise reports

The government should immediately invest an extra £8bn a year to tackle the “national scandal” of the underfunding of adult social care in England, concludes a report from an influential cross party group in the House of Lords.1

The Economic Affairs Committee, which includes two former chancellors, said that the government should then introduce free personal care for people with critical needs so that they get help with essential daily activities such as washing, dressing, and cooking. This should be funded through general taxation, over a period of five years, said the report, Social Care Funding: Time to End a National Scandal. It estimated that a new basic entitlement to publicly funded personal care would cost £7bn if introduced in 2020-21. While this would cover basic activities of daily living, the government should retain a means test for the costs of accommodation in residential care and nursing homes, which would be capped.

The report said that adult social care in England was inadequately funded and that 1.4 million people aged 65 or over had unmet care needs …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription