Middle classes face £21bn social care betrayal: Patients’ contributions towards their own old-age care could double in 20 years unless Boris Johnson fulfils his promise to reform the system, report warns
- Middle classes will have to double their contribution to old-age care in 20 years
- A quarter of over-65s had an unmet care need as a result of failures in the system
- An ageing society means pensioners requiring care will soar by 57 per cent
The middle classes face a £20billion social care time bomb unless Boris Johnson delivers on his promise to reform the system, a report concludes today.
It reveals that the amount the middle classes will have to contribute towards their own old-age care is set to more than double in 20 years.
It also found that a quarter of over-65s had an unmet care need as a result of failures in the system.
The middle classes face a £20billion social care time bomb unless Boris Johnson delivers on his promise to reform the system, a report concludes today
The National Audit Office, the Government’s own spending watchdog, said the amount paid out by self-funders will go up from £10billion in 2018 to 21.2billion by 2038 – a 113 per cent rise.
This is because an ageing society means the number of pensioners requiring care will soar by 57 per cent. In addition, the expectation that more of them are likely to own their own home will make them liable for more of the cost.
The NAO concluded that England’s broken care system is being hampered by the Prime Minister’s continued failure to publish the plan he promised when he entered Downing Street in July 2019. Its report said this – together with an ‘inadequate’ regulation of care homes – meant that vulnerable old people are not getting the care they need.
Yesterday Mr Johnson told MPs he was still committed to publishing a long-term plan by the end of the year – and that the issue could be mentioned in the Queen’s Speech in May.
Yesterday Mr Johnson told MPs he was still committed to publishing a long-term plan by the end of the year
He told the Commons liaison committee: ‘One of the problems we have is the gulf between NHS and social care into which so many people fall and that’s a problem we need to fix. Do we need a plan to fix this? A long-term plan? The answer is yes.’
- Boris Johnson urged to publish a strategy because lack of a long-term plan is harming elderly care
- Demand will rise massively in the next 20 years, with a 57 per cent increase in the numbers of over-65s requiring care
- Those who do not get care funded by the state will pay even more – self-funders’ contributions will double to more than £20billion by 2038
- Number of elderly receiving care has fallen nearly 7 per cent since 2015 to 548,000
- 24 per cent of over-65s have unmet care needs
- 16 per cent of services rated inadequate by CQC
Labour MP Meg Hillier, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, said that the Government has repeatedly promised it has a plan, but the NAO report ‘shows this is simply not the case’.
‘This unsustainable situation can’t go on,’ she said. ‘The Government must get a grip on the crisis in social care and it must do it now.’
Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was ‘yet more evidence of the urgent need’ for reform as he urged the Government to ‘make good on its promises’.
The NAO report warned that local authority spending on social care had fallen over the last decade. It accused town halls of refusing to pay care providers enough – putting many at financial risk.
Many care homes were ‘not financially resilient’, the report said, because occupancy had fallen from 90 to 80 per cent because of Covid.
NAO head Gareth Davies said: ‘The lack of a long-term vision for adult social care, coupled with ineffective oversight of the system, means people may not get the care that best supports them.’
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘Delivering a care system fit for the future is a top priority and we will bring forward proposals for social care reform later this year.
‘We are providing councils with access to £1.5billion in additional funding for social care in 2021-22, on top of a further package worth £3billion to help address the additional pressures, including on adult social care, during the pandemic.’
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