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In report on long-term care, 2020health recommends action to prevent and delay dependency

By Jonathan Isaby
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Picture 31 Yesterday 2020health, the think tank focusing on health issues, published its latest report, Take Care - The Future Funding of Social Care.

It finds that more emphasis needs to be placed on the prevention or delay of dependency, thereby reducing overall costs within both social care and the NHS. It also calls for the support and development of technological innovations which reduce the cost of care and concludes that a review of the financial model needs to facilitate better integration between the NHS and social care.

Its conclusion is summarised as follows:

"The funding and provision of social care in England is widely acknowledged to be in need of reform, and over the past decade a variety of papers, committees and reports have made suggestions for what reform should look like. Two major challenges accentuate the need for change. Firstly, as a result of the “baby boomer” population approaching retirement and old age, a large increase in demand for social care is predicted over the next two decades. Secondly, the current economic situation and government attempts to reduce the deficit are resulting in funding cuts to local government budgets, which are responsible for a large proportion of social care funding.

This review of studies provides an overview of the state of social care today and the many suggestions for reform. Predictions of demographic changes over the next 20 years show that the size of the over-70 population, those most likely to be in need of care, will rise from 6.2 million in 2010 to 9.6 million in 2030, an increase of over 50%. People of working age fund a large proportion of care provision through taxes, and the ratio of those of working age to those aged 70 or over is projected to fall from 5.3:1 in 2010 to 3.7:1 in 2030. There is evidence that as people live longer lives they are also living healthier, and that the years lived with disability are declining, but it is highly likely nevertheless that the increased numbers of older people will lead to increased demand for social care, and hence funding."

Click here to download a pdf of the full report.


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