MPs fear thousands of vulnerable people face a future care ‘lottery’ if the Government’s flagship Care Bill passes without further amendment, a new survey has found.
The findings of the survey commissioned by Home Group are at the centre of debate in a meeting of MPs and peers in the House of Commons today entitled ‘How will the Care Bill impact social care in the UK?’
The Care Bill – currently passing through Parliament after gaining Commons approval earlier this month – proposes the biggest shake-up of state-funded social care in 60 years.
More than 100 MPs from across the political spectrum responded to the survey by Home Group, which each year supports 30,000 vulnerable people with a range of social care needs.
The results showed:
- A majority of MPs thought access to care is a lottery and that the system is underfunded.
- Half of MPs surveyed believe the Care Bill will increase costs to the public sector
- 65% think that demand for social care will greatly increase in the next decade
- 52% think the Care Bill will reduce access for those with low needs in future
- Around half of respondents have negative perceptions of social care
- While 89% of MPs have met people receiving social care, only seven per cent of MPs have delivered social care and none have received it
Rachael Byrne, Home Group Executive Director Care and Support, said: “We are gravely concerned that the Bill focuses statutory funding on people with significant needs. In overlooking those with moderate needs it exposes vulnerable people to a sliding scale of decline that will ultimately cost the state in the long run.
“The Care Bill has many qualities that will bring greater coherence to a system which has evolved over the decades, however stark questions remain as to how it will be funded.
“Unless the care system is adequately funded, demographic and other changes will mean fewer and fewer people will be able to access the help they need.
“Over 11 million people alive today will live until they are 100. Whoever leads the next Government needs to understand that investing in social care is a ‘must have’ and not ‘an add-on’ and commit to significant investment in social care if the ambitions of the Care Bill are to be met.”
Social care is seen as a lottery based not on geographical location but on personal qualification – establishing if a person is eligible to receive state-funded care based on their level of need.
Home Group provides general needs housing and supported housing services targeted at helping some of society’s most vulnerable people take control of their own lives.
It works with almost 30,000 vulnerable people through more than 500 supported housing, justice and health services each year.
The survey was conducted for Home Group by DODS.