British public backs an increase in social care spending

June 13, 2018

More than 80% of the British public backs an increase in social care spending, according to new polling by IPSOS Mori for the NHS Confederation.

It found that the public supports a 3.9% increase in social care spending – the minimum uplift needed just to maintain current levels of provision for a projected rise in demand for social care services. Also, 77% support a 4% increase in healthcare spending to help meet growing demand and make some ‘modest improvements’.

The polling figures follow on from research commissioned by the NHS Confederation into health and social care funding needs to the 2030s, which sets out strong evidence supporting an increase in spending on social care.

In particular, the study found that a funding boost is needed to address inconsistent social care provision across the UK, and to tackle rising numbers of people with unmet care needs, which has led to increasing reliance on unpaid care from friends and families.

But social care funding must also rise to tackle problems facing the health service, including rising numbers of emergency admissions and patients facing delayed discharges as a result of social care spending cuts.

A new paper, released by the NHS Confederation at its annual conference in Manchester, puts forward the NHS view of the issues engulfing social care.

The poll – a nationally representative sample of 1,000 British adults/adults across the UK – revealed:

  • 82% of people either support or strongly support a 3.9% spending increase for social care. The report Securing the Future: funding health and social care to the 2030s points out this is necessary to meet the demands of an ageing population and a growing number of younger adults living with disabilities.
  • 45% agree with increasing National Insurance and 42% agree with increasing income tax – in both cases more agreed with these options than disagreed.
  • Men are more likely to back income tax increases than women, while women are more likely to get behind a National Insurance increase than men.
  • The majority of people aged over 55 would agree to increasing income tax to fund healthcare spending. When it comes to a proposed National Insurance rise to fund healthcare spending, the majority of people aged over 45 agreed.

The NHS Confederation has launched a petition to secure a parliamentary debate on a commitment to health and social care funding to 2035. 

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