This Commons Library briefing paper examines the key funding pressures facing adult social care services in England and evidence of the impacts of these pressures on social care and health services. The paper explains the additional funding committed to adult social care between 2016/17 and 2020/21, and outlines concerns about a social care funding gap and future financial uncertainty.
The House of Commons Library has published a number of briefing papers relating to the issue of adult social care funding in England.
The Library paper Adult Social Care Funding (England) examines the key funding pressures facing adult social care services in England and evidence of the impacts of these pressures on social care and health services. The paper explains the additional short-term, ring-fenced funding that has been committed to adult social care between 2016/17 and 2019/20, and outlines concerns about a social care funding gap and financial uncertainty post 2020.
For information on the current social care means-test for individuals, see Social care: paying for care home places and domiciliary care (England). In summary, care home residents with assets less than £23,250, are eligible for local authority funding support for their residential care (care home) (although they are expected to contribute their income towards the cost); those with assets over £23,250 are expected to pay for their care in full. Local authorities have discretion to set a more generous means-tests for those in receipt of domiciliary care. The value of someone’s home is only included in the means test for care home residents, subject to some exemptions.
The Government has committed to publish a Green Paper on social care for older people setting out proposals to “ensure that the care and support system is sustainable in the long term”. There will be a “parallel process” of work looking at social care for working age adults. Given pledges made during the 2017 General Election campaign by the Conservative Party, it is expected that the Green Paper for older people will include proposals for a cap on an individual’s life-time social care spending and changes to the means-testing for social care to make it more generous. What we know so far about the topics likely to be covered by the paper is set out in the Library paper Social care: forthcoming Green Paper on older people and parallel programme (England). The Government has said that the Green Paper itself will be published this autumn.
The following Library briefing papers look at other proposals made by Conservative, Coalition and Labour Governments in recent years:
- Social care: Government reviews and policy proposals for paying for care since 1997 (England)
- Social care: the Conservative Party’s 2017 General Election pledges on how individuals pay for care (England)
- Social care: Announcements delaying the introduction of funding reforms (including the cap) (England)
- Social care: how the postponed changes to paying for care, including the cap, would have worked (England)
The Library paper Social care: care home market – structure, issues, and cross-subsidisation (England) discusses some of the wider issues and pressures faced by the sector.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
For more information about the system elsewhere in the UK, see:
- the Welsh National Assembly’s briefing, Paying for adult social care in Wales: Debate and Reform. The Welsh Government increased the amount of capital that a person can keep without having to use this to pay for their residential care: for more details see this press release from April 2018.
- the Scottish Government’s webpages on Charging for Residential Care and Free Personal and Nursing Care (available for those over 65 years old and assessed as needing care).
- the Northern Ireland Executive’s website on Your home, your assets and your residential care or nursing home fees. Citizen’s Advice also has a useful page on Social care and support, which considers the funding of domiciliary care in Northern Ireland.
- Social Care: Funding, HL deb 05 Jul 2018, volume 792, cc681-695
- The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care, HL deb 26 Apr 2018, volume 790, cc1660-1690
- Social Care, HC deb 25 Apr 2018, volume 639, cc931-984
- Social Care, HC deb 25 Oct 2017, volume 630, cc312-358
- Council Funding and Social Care, HC deb 22 Feb 2017, volume 621 cc377-399WH
The state of health care and adult social care in England 2017/18, Care Quality Commission, October 2018
The lives we want to lead: The LGA green paper for adult social care and wellbeing, Local Government Association, July 2018
Adult social care at a glance, National Audit Office, July 2018
Unpaid Care, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, July 2018
Better Health and Care For All: A 10-Point Plan For The 2020s, IPPR, June 2018
Long term funding of adult social care inquiry, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, report published 27 June 2018
A fork in the road: Next steps for social care funding reform, King’s Fund, May 2018
Behind the Headlines: the battle to get care at home, Age UK, May 2018
The state of adult social care services, Care Quality Commission, April 2018
Approaches to social care funding, King’s Fund, February 2018
The adult social care workforce in England, National Audit Office, February 2018
Carers, House of Commons Library, November 2017
The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care, Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS, April 2017
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
The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee is conducting an inquiry into Social care funding in England. Its call for evidence was published 13 September 2018.
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This Commons Library Briefing paper provides an overview of changes to local authority duties around the provision of adult social care during the coronavirus outbreak.