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MPs’ poll shows more people suffer from cuts in care

June 5, 2019

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

These are among the key findings from a major poll of MPs conducted by ComRes and commissioned by a coalition of national health organisations who are calling on the Government to end the crisis in care. Other key findings include:

  • 76% of MPs say there is now a crisis in social care, including more than half (58%) of Conservative MPs.
  • Two thirds (65%) of MPs say 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.

Concern was 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 little faith among MPs that the green paper will improve standards of social care provision – only half (49%) agree it will.

The poll of 138 MPs was commissioned by the NHS Confederation, which leads Health for Care, a coalition of 15 organisations representing the breadth of the NHS. The organisations have joined forces to make the case for a sustainable social care system to be delivered on the back of a new long-term funding settlement.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said record numbers of vulnerable people were being left to struggle every day without the basic care and support they need, and millions of family carers were exhausted and at the end of their tether.

“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,” said Mr Dickson.

“However, there is a marked lack of political consensus on how to solve the problem. This simply isn’t good enough considering this is the greatest social challenge of our time. The Prime Minister came to power promising to fix the crisis in care but failed – her successor cannot afford to do the same. 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.”

While there is consensus among MPs about there being a crisis in care, politicians are evenly split in their support across four potential solutions, with each attracting about a fifth of MPs’ support: introducing free personal care (21%); an auto-enrolment insurance system (20%); a cap on costs and a revised ‘floor’ to the means test – a variant of the Dilnot proposal (19%); and improving the current system (18%).

Broken down by the two main political parties, Conservative MPs are most likely to support the option of an auto-enrolment insurance system (30%) and Labour MPs are most likely to support the introduction of free personal care (40%).

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