Almost one in five people expects standards in social care to improve over the next year – which is about the same expectation people have for the NHS, a poll by the Health Foundation has found.
However, only six per cent of people think that standards of social care have improved over the past 12 months.
Looking in detail at public perceptions of health and social care, the poll finds that women and people with disabilities are particularly likely to think the standard of social care has been getting worse, and women are more pessimistic about the next 12 months. By age group, those aged 45 and over are particularly negative about the standard of social care over the last 12 months, while those aged 35 to 64 are most pessimistic about the next 12 months
People who use social care personally are more likely than others to say standards have improved than those who have only indirect experience of services.
Public views of the fairness of means testing social care remain divided, albeit that people are a little more inclined to say the system is unfair. “These divisions between means testing for social care being fair or unfair may be linked to low awareness of what social care comprises and how it is funded,” says The Health Foundation.
If the new government decides to increase spending on social care, around three in five favour funding this through some form of tax increase (62 per cent), representing a significant increase since 2018 (51 per cent). Just one in ten think there should be spending cuts to other services.
Of the various tax options, an increase in income tax is most preferred.
1,990 people were interviewed in the research.