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Funding pressure on NHS and social care set to grow

24 May 2018

Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s.

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This Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFFS) report finds that UK spending on healthcare will have to rise by an average 3.3% a year over the next 15 years just to maintain NHS provision at current levels, and by at least 4% a year if services are to be improved. Public spending on health has slowly increased by 10.3% after accounting for economy-wide inflation over the same period.

Social care funding will need to increase by 3.9% a year to meet the needs of an ageing population and an increasing number of younger adults living with disabilities.

“While much of the public discussion about the organisation and funding of social care centres upon care for individuals in old age, publicly funded social care is used by individuals of all ages and, in fact, only a minority goes on those aged 65 and over. Social care spending on children amounted to £9.9 billion (32% of the total). The remaining £21.2 billion was spent on adults, with approximately half of this spent on individuals aged 65 and over.”

The flaws of the social care system are widely acknowledged, not least by Disability Rights UK, and in need of reform. But between 2009 and 2017, spending on social care fell by 9.9% (or 1.5% a year) to £21.2 billion.

The IFFS report says any reforms would mean that spending on social care would need to increase at a faster rate than 3.9% a year.