Poll: only 10% of English MPs think adult social care system suitable for users

4 Sep 17

Only 10% of English MPs think the adult social care system is suitable for its users, Independent Age has said.

A poll conducted for the charity by ComRes among 101 MPs found 86% felt a cross-party consensus was needed to devise a lasting settlement on health and social care.

Most MPs thought funding for social care was inadequate, with only 21% of Conservative MPs and 8% of Labour ones thinking the service had enough resources.

In England, only 13% of Labour MPs and 35% of Conservative MPs thought social care services in their constituencies were fit for purpose.

Independent Age chief executive Janet Morrison said: “Confidence that the social care system can deal with the UK’s ageing population has virtually evaporated among parliamentarians.

“The crisis in social care was front and centre in the election earlier this year, and it is clear from this poll that there is an overwhelming desire from politicians on all sides for the government to work towards a cross-party consensus on a solution.”

Morrison said the solution did not lie in finding more money for a failed system but in devising a system that commanded support across political divides and integrated social care with health services.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, chair of the House of Commons science and technology committee, has been working with Independent Age and cross-party MPs to try to devise such a system.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, chair of the House of Commons science and technology committee, has been working with Independent Age and cross-party MPs to try to devise such a system.

He said: “The government simply cannot afford to put off finding solutions to these problems.

“Without lasting reform, the most vulnerable frail and elderly people are at real risk of falling through the gaps and not getting the support they expect and deserve.”

Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association's community wellbeing board, said it was encouraging that such a high proportion of MPs saw the need for a sustainable solution to adult social care funding, which she said would see an annual £2.3bn funding gap by 2020.

Seccombe said: "It is absolutely critical that the government brings forward its green paper on the future of social care and works with local government leaders to address the issue of long-term funding and also create the conditions necessary to ensure the development of the right kind of care and support services.”

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