Despite the importance of social care in enabling people’s independence and maintaining dignity, successive governments have failed to adequately support the sector. At present, there are around 1.4 million older people who are not able to access the support they need – inevitably, this number will rise. We have been consistently making the case for a long-term settlement for social care. We lead Health for Care, a coalition of 15 national health organisations which have joined forces to make the case for a sustainable social care system, backed up by a long-term funding settlement.
Social care plays a vital role in the lives of millions of older and disabled people in England, and helps people to get the care and support they need and, where possible, lead independent lives.
The social care sector relies on a diverse range of providers as care is delivered by everyone from the NHS and local government to charities and private care firms. There are also, crucially, around 5.4 million relatives and friends who provide unpaid care to people in need.
The social care sector and NHS are increasingly interdependent. People who receive good quality social care are less likely to fall ill and require the care and treatment provided by the NHS. A well-funded and good quality social care sector is fundamental to a well-performing NHS.
Despite its importance to both people’s lives and the performance of the NHS, social care has been in decline over recent decades. More than 1.4 million people are not able to access the care and support they need. And the situation is likely to deteriorate further, with the number of people with dementia in the UK set to rise to more than 1 million by 2025. Already, up to 58 per cent of people over 60 are living with at least one long-term condition, such as diabetes, arthritis or hypertension, and this is set to rise.
Funding for social care has fallen by 11 per cent in recent years. All of this has led many experts to conclude that the social care sector is in crisis. There is a strong consensus that a sustainable social care system needs to be created, backed by a long term funding settlement.
We have convened a coalition of health organisations in a major campaign – Health for Care – to secure reform and a long-term funding settlement for social care. Our aim is to help deliver the sustainable social care system that is urgently required.
Letter to the Prime Minister calling for a social care workforce plan
The NHS Confederation has written to the Prime Minister calling for a social care workforce plan to accompany the NHS workforce plan.
30 June 2023
System on a cliff edge: addressing challenges in social care capacity
Government urged to take action on the social care workforce crisis or risk putting the care and safety of patients in the NHS in jeopardy.
28 July 2022
NHS leaders call for national minimum wage for social care to avoid staff exodus
Members are increasingly concerned that colleagues in social care can't meet need due to workforce challenges - we've written to the Prime Minister.
30 June 2022
No place like home
Introducing virtual wards during the pandemic has led to them being implemented more widely to care for people in the communities of Wolverhampton.
22 August 2023
Effective healthcare for all is a joint venture
How Barnardo’s Emergency Care Model is helping to address longstanding challenges for the NHS by acting on the wider determinants of health.
7 July 2023
Welsh NHS Confederation call for national conversation on future of nation’s health and wellbeing endorsed by 32 health and care organisations
32 organisations have come together to support the Welsh NHS Confederation’s call for a cross-government national conversation on the future of health
11 September 2023
NHS Confederation responds to Labour's investigation into waits for mental health patients at A&E
Sean Duggan, chief executive of the mental health network at the NHS Confederation, comments on Labour's investigation into A&E waits.
31 August 2023
Health on the Line
New podcast series, hosted by Matthew Taylor, offers fresh perspectives on the healthcare challenges of our time and ways to confront them.