Social care in England is on the brink of becoming unsustainable after “lost decade”, a new report has warned.
The research led by Jon Glasby, a professor of health and social care at the University of Birmingham said that swift government intervention is needed to fund England’s creaking social care system.
The report said the harm has been felt most keenly by the older population, stating: “It is hard to interpret this other than as the product of ageist attitudes and assumptions about the role and needs of older people”.
It comes after the same academic warned in research from 2010 that the current system is broken, and that the one option that could not be taken was to do nothing.
“Not only were these warnings not heeded, but the situation has since got worse. When social care for older people is cut to the bone, lives are blighted, distress and pressure increase and the resilience of individuals and their families is ground down,” Mr Glasby said.
“While the situation is urgent, the human misery caused by this ‘lost decade’ is not as visible as financial pressures on more prominent, popular and better understood services, such as hospitals or schools.”
“In 2010, we were adamant that doing nothing was not an option. Our 2020 update shows that, without swift government intervention, the adult social care system could quickly become unsustainable. Even though this research was carried out before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, urgent action is likely to be even more pressing in the current context.”
In response to the latest report, a DHSC spokesperson said: “We know that there is a need for a long-term solution for social care, and will bring forward a plan that puts the sector on a sustainable footing to ensure the reforms will last long into the future.”