The Health and Social Care committee has released a report on ‘supporting people with dementia and their carers’.
The report builds on their previous recommendations on social care and reiterates that significant additional investment is vital for reform but criticizes the Government plans for the health and care levy. In the Committee’s view, the levy provides insufficient funding for social care over the next three years and fails to spell out how the sector will benefit from the levy after that.
During its inquiry the Committee heard evidence that currently 200,000 people with moderate and severe dementia in England do not get any kind of funded or professional support.
Projections show an increase in the number of people who will be living with dementia and increased costs of dementia care. The number of older people living with dementia in England will increase to around 1.35 million by 2040 and the total cost of dementia care is projected to reach £80.4 billion by 2040, up from £29.5 billion in 2019 when nearly half of this spending went on social care (45.8%).
The Committee said it was disappointed the Government has not provided greater funding for social care in the immediate future. It also urges Ministers to accept its recommendation from a previous report for a £7 annual billion increase in funding for social care by 2023-24 as a starting point.
The report concludes that the Government’s Health and Care Bill must consider the vital role of unpaid carers in supporting people with dementia and give them the opportunity to contribute to any plans for reform.
The Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, said:
“People living with dementia face catastrophic costs for social care but even though the new levy is welcome, their families will continue to remain unprotected until 2023 at the earliest.
“The extra funding announced in the Budget for local authorities is welcome but it’s not clear how much will be set aside to support the growing costs of providing social care.
“Fundamental reform of the social care system must be tackled by the Government in its promised White Paper and until we see warm words turned into action, families living with dementia will continue to face an unbearable situation.”
Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing said:
‘Today’s report underlines just how intolerable the broken social care system is making the lives of people with dementia across this country.
‘We fully back the Committee’s call for far more investment, and a long-term plan for the social care sector, as well as training, pay and progression to create a strong care workforce – that can finally deliver the quality care people with dementia have been crying out for and denied for too long.
“The budget contained barely enough funding to keep the system afloat until the 2023 funding kicks in. But there’s still an opportunity to turn the ship around – the upcoming white papers must focus on driving up the quality of social care for everyone with dementia.’