MPs warn of crisis in social care

Care services on brink of collapse, coalition tells PM
Niall Dickson, chief executive, NHS Confederation

Three out of five politicians say people in their constituencies are suffering because of cuts to social care, with more than three quarters saying there is a care crisis.

In a poll of 138 MPs in England, 76% said the sector is in crisis, including more than half (58%) of Conservative MPs.

Two thirds (65%) of politicians said the number of people in their constituencies coming to them with concerns over social care has increased during their time in office, with nearly half (46%) saying it has increased significantly.

The poll was commissioned by the NHS Confederation, which leads Health for Care, a coalition of 15 organisations, and conducted by market research consultancy ComRes.

The survey showed concern is highest among MPs in the north of England where two thirds (62%) of MPs strongly agreed that their constituents are suffering because of cuts to care.

There is also little faith among MPs that the green paper will improve standards of social care provision – almost half (49%) agree it will.

‘The scandal of social care in this country is leaving record numbers of vulnerable people to struggle every day without the basic care and support they need. And millions of family carers are exhausted and at the end of their tether,’ said Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation.

‘The most striking findings from this research is the sheer number of MPs who agree that there is a crisis in social care, alongside the vast numbers who have noticed a significant increase in care problems and cases raised by their constituents,’ he continued.

Dickson said there is a lack of political consensus on how to solve the problem which is unacceptable.

‘The social care system needs urgent funding and support in the short term and a long-term solution delivered as part of the next Spending Review. Now is the time for MPs of all parties to work together to agree a solution that ends the unfairness faced by thousands of people every day,’ he concluded.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘We have given local authorities access to up to £3.9bn more dedicated funding for adult social care this year, and a further £410m is available for adults and children’s services.

‘We will set out our plans to reform the social care system at the earliest opportunity to ensure it is sustainable for the future.’