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Social care system not fit for purpose, MPs poll finds

Nine in ten members of Parliament do not believe the social care system is fit for purpose, a new poll suggests.
Social care

Nine in ten members of Parliament do not believe the social care system is fit for purpose, a new poll suggests.

A survey of 101 English MPs found that only 10% believe the social care system is suitable for the UKs ageing population.

The research, carried out by older people's charity Independent Age, also showed just 13% of Labour MPs and 35% of Conservative MPs believe that social care services in their constituencies are fit for purpose.

Cross-party consensus

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

The crisis in social care was front and centre in the election earlier

Nine in ten members of Parliament do not believe the social care system is fit for purpose, a new poll suggests.


A total of 13% of Labour MPs and 35% of Conservative MPs believe that social care services are fit for purpose. Picture: Charles Milligan

A survey of 101 English MPs found that only 10% believe the social care system is suitable for the UK’s ageing population.

The research, carried out by older people's charity Independent Age, also showed just 13% of Labour MPs and 35% of Conservative MPs believe that social care services in their constituencies are fit for purpose.

Cross-party consensus

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.

‘To meet current and future demand, we need to take a radically different approach, recognising the status quo has failed.’

Think tank

Separate research conducted by the Centre for the Modern Family – a think tank created by company Scottish Widows – found that only 15% of people are saving money on a monthly basis to pay for future care needs.

And a quarter said they have ‘no idea’ how they would cover such care costs.

The poll of more than 2,000 UK adults also found that many underestimate the cost of social care.

On average, UK adults estimate that residential care would cost £549 a week - when in reality it costs on average £866 for a place in a nursing home, the centre said.

Irregular family visits

Meanwhile, another poll carried out by carehome.co.uk found that four in ten of care home residents do not receive regular visits from friends and family.

A total of 1,154 care home owners, managers and staff were asked to estimate the percentage of residents that do not receive regular visits, with 42% being the average figure given.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘This government is absolutely committed to improving social care in this country, which is why we have provided an additional £2 billion for the sector, introduced tougher inspections to keep driving up standards and committed to consult on the future of social care to ensure sustainability in the long term.’


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