Social Services: Older People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 27th February 2020.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Age UK's General Election Manifesto 2019, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the unmet social care needs of 1.5 million people aged over 65 in England.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Government has enshrined in legislation, through the Care Act 2014, councils’ statutory responsibility to meet eligible needs. This eliminates the postcode lottery of eligibility across England.

Many people will fund their own care, which has been the case for decades. State-funded social care is available for those with the greatest needs on the lowest incomes and, at year-end 2018/19, 381,475 older people were receiving long-term support from their council, either through residential care or support in their own home.

Social care is a Government priority. We have given councils access to up to £1.5 billion more dedicated funding for social care in 2020/21 to meet rising demand and further stabilise the system.

Putting social care on a sustainable footing, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society. As the Prime Minister has said, the Government will bring forward a plan for social care this year.

The Government will seek to build cross-party consensus and will outline next steps shortly.

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