In response to the 32nd annual NatCen British Social Attitudes Report, examining how the public has responded to the changing political landscape, social reform, spending cuts and policies of the Coalition Government, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, said:
“This research shows low levels of satisfaction with social care services, as opposed to NHS services, could reflect the difficulties people face in accessing it in the first place. Unlike the NHS, social care services are means tested and, as councils deal with cuts in their income, there are now 360,00 fewer older people receiving funded social care than in 2008. Many of these struggle unassisted with basic tasks such as washing, dressing and eating and can be forgiven for thinking that social care is ‘unsatisfactory’.
“More widely, the public uncertainty about how best to pay for our NHS is to be expected since none of the main parties has convincingly set out a case for funding the increasing costs of health and social care that an ageing society will bring. The NHS five year plan is a step forward but we urgently need a wider public debate about what we want from our health and care services and how we can best pay for it.”