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Truss government response must match the social care challenge

The Truss government must acknowledge the size of the challenge facing the NHS and social care in England – the scale of government policy response must grow to match it.

Public perceptions of health and social care: what the new government should know, a new report from the Health Foundation, concludes that pessimism about social care is high and understanding of the system remains low among the UK public.

Despite former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s assurances, the UK public does not appear to think the social care system has been fixed. Most people think standards of care have deteriorated over the past year; just 13 per cent expect standards to get better over the next year. Fewer than one in 10 people think government has the right policies in place for the system.

Additional findings of the poll of public opinion include that people in England are more likely than not to support the government’s new cap on social care costs, but awareness of the policy is low. Low awareness and preparation for the financial requirements of care also present challenges for policymakers. The research finds that income tax, increasing inheritance tax, and making spending cuts to other services are the most popular models for raising funds for social care among the public.    

This report highlights findings from the second survey of public perceptions by the Health Foundation. Looking at the NHS, the majority of respondents (55 per cent) think the general standard of care has got worse in the past 12 months, compared with 56 per cent with a similar view for social care. Only 15 per cent of the public thinks social care services in their local area are good.   

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