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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee

 
 

2020health Report Take Care: The Future Funding of Social Care

  • 07.06.2011
  • Mark Weston, Eleanor Winpenny and Julia Manning

In this publication we study the current care funding system, as well as the predicted need and cost of social care in the coming decades. The funding and provision of social care in England is widely acknowledged to be in need of reform, and over the past decade a variety of papers, committees and reports have made suggestions for what reform should look like.

Summary

The funding and provision of social care in England is widely acknowledged to be in need of reform, and over the past decade a variety of papers, committees and reports have made suggestions for what reform should look like. Two major challenges accentuate the need for change. Firstly, as a result of the “baby boomer” population approaching retirement and old age, a large increase in demand for social care is predicted over the next two decades. Secondly, the current economic situation and government attempts to reduce the deficit are resulting in funding cuts to local government budgets, which are responsible for a large proportion of social care funding.

This review of studies provides an overview of the state of social care today and the many suggestions for reform. Predictions of demographic changes over the next 20 years show that the size of the over-70 population, those most likely to be in need of care, will rise from 6.2 million in 2010 to 9.6 million in 2030, an increase of over 50%. People of working age fund a large proportion of care provision through taxes, and the ratio of those of working age to those aged 70 or over is projected to fall from 5.3:1 in 2010 to 3.7:1 in 2030. There is evidence that as people live longer lives they are also living healthier, and that the years lived with disability are declining, but it is highly likely nevertheless that the increased numbers of older people will lead to increased demand for social care, and hence funding.

Impact:

• Launched with Andrew Dilnot ahead of his own review, and hosted by Saga, our emphasis on not returning to a culture of ‘fear’ was taken up as his theme in a subsequent piece in the Times