William Eichler 23 May 2019

Free social care for the elderly could save NHS £4.5bn a year, think tank says

Free social care for the elderly could save NHS £4.5bn a year, think tank says image

The introduction of free social care for everyone over 65 would save the NHS in England £4.5bn a year and help improve care in the community, a think tank has said.

IPPR argues that this reform would increase the number of people with access to state-funded care from 185,000 to 440,000, reducing unmet need and relieving pressure on unpaid informal carers.

They also claim it would shift hospital patients back into the community, and deliver a higher quality and better integrated service.

While this would mean that spending on adult social care for the over 65s would rise from £17bn a year today to £36bn in 2030, IPPR says that £11bn of this increase in set to happen anyway because of the ageing population.

They calculate that the reform would save the NHS £4.5bn and create 70,000 new jobs. It would be funded by a 2% income tax increase.

‘If you develop cancer in England you are cared for by the NHS, free at the point of need for as long as it takes, but if you develop dementia you’re likely to have to pay for all your own social care – running up potentially catastrophic costs in the last years of your life. This makes no sense,’ said Harry Quilter-Pinner, senior research fellow at IPPR and lead author of the report.

‘By investing in personal social care so it is free at the point of need for everyone over 65, we can provide a better and more integrated care system, one that’s fairer to us all and saves the NHS £4.5bn a year.’

For more on social care see The MJ feature, 'Why we need to talk openly about social care.'

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Governance Administrator

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,800 - £30,300 per annum
We are looking for someone, ideally a graduate, who has an interest in local democracy and community leadership, to work as part of... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Senior Practitioner - Family Support and Protection Team

Essex County Council
£39168.0 - £47405.0 per annum
Please note this is a Fixed Term Contract or Secondment Opportunity for 12 months Having won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award and been England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

SEND Operations Partner

Essex County Council
Up to £30906 per annum
Please note that this job will be based in Basildon to cover South Essex and both full and part time opportunities will be considered. Please state on England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

SEND Operations Assistant

Essex County Council
Up to £22664 per annum
Please note that this job will be based in Basildon to cover South Essex and both full and part time opportunities will be considered. Please state on England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

SEND Operations Coordinator

Essex County Council
Up to £26800 per annum
Please note that this job will be based in Basildon to cover South Essex and both full and part time opportunities will be considered. Please state on England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue