Lack of public understanding hindering social care satisfaction 

Satisfaction levels with social care services provided by local authorities continues to be far lower than with healthcare, a poll has revealed.

The British Social Attitudes survey of nearly 3,000 people found that 26% were content with social care services last year, compared to 53% with the NHS.

Dissatisfaction with services was 34% – a seven percentage point decrease from the previous year. This takes dissatisfaction back to levels similar to those reported in 2016 and 2015.

The results, which have been published by The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust, said the lower satisfaction levels with social care was partly due to a lack of public understanding about services. Additionally, most respondents will not have had any experience of using social care services.

As a result, 40% of respondents were neutral about social care provision.

The report, Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2018: Results from the British Social Attitudes survey, said data suggests that care ratings are improving, but access to services was ‘increasingly squeezed’.

Public satisfaction with the NHS continued to fall in 2018, the lowest level since 2007.

The report said: ‘In 2018, the outpouring of affection that accompanied the NHS’s 70th birthday did not stem falling levels of public satisfaction with the service. Satisfaction with the NHS sits at its lowest level for more than a decade, driven by concerns about a lack of money, staff shortages and mounting waiting times.’

The survey also found that older people were more satisfied than younger people: 61% of those aged 65 and over were content with the NHS compared to 51% of those aged 18–64.