The Library has published several papers on the subject of social care in England. 

If an individual organises their social care package via their local authority, their assets are subject to a means test. Currently, an individual with more than £23,250 in assets is expected to pay for their care in full. For more details, the Library has a paper on Social care: paying for care home places and domiciliary care (England).

This system has been a significant issue in recent elections and the Conservative Party has promised reform. The Library paper Social care: the Conservative Party’s 2017 General Election pledges on how individuals pay for care (England) contains more information about these reforms, including a possible cap on costs and a more generous £100,000 means-test capital limit. A consultation paper (Green Paper) on the subject is expected by July 2018. The potential content of this Paper is outlined in the Library briefing: Social care: the forthcoming Green Paper on older people (England).

For more background on this issue, the Library has a paper on Social care: Announcements delaying the introduction of funding reforms (including the cap) (England) – this paper discusses reforms proposed under the Coalition Government and subsequent Conservative Governments. To understand how these reforms would have worked, the Library has a paper on Social care: how the postponed changes to paying for care, including the cap, would have worked (England).

The Library has also published Social care: Government reviews and policy proposals for paying for care since 1997 (England) for more historical information.

For more information about the system elsewhere in the UK, see:

The Library has also produced papers on other issues within the social care system, including:

Further reading

Approaches to social care funding, King’s Fund, February 2018

The adult social care workforce in England, National Audit Office, February 2018

Adult Social Care Inquiry, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, March 2017

State of Care 2016/17, Care Quality Commission, 2017 (in particular pages 52-61)

The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017, Care Quality Commission, 2017

Older People’s Care Survey 2017, Family and Childcare Trust, 2017

‘Why call it care when nobody cares?’, Age UK, 2016. The results of 127 interviews regarding the quality of social care people have experienced.

The failure of privatised adult social care in England: what is to be done? Centre for Health and the Public Interest, November 2016

Social care for older people, King’s Fund, September 2016

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