What exactly do we mean when we talk about social care? It’s difficult to define because the term covers a huge range of different activities, from child protection to end-of-life care – and it certainly doesn’t have the recognisable brand that the NHS does. In this video we look at what adult social care consists of, the responsibilities of local government, and the wider societal context.
This is the first video in our 'Bite-sized social care' series intended to help explain social care in England: what it is, how it’s provided and paid for, and how it works with the NHS and other services.
- Video transcript
Social care has been in the news a lot recently. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about social care? It certainly doesn’t have the recognisable brand that the NHS does.
Part of the reason it’s so hard to define is that social care covers a huge range of activities – from child protection to end-of-life care.
Today we’re going to talk about adult social care: providing help, care and protection from harm for adults with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or physical and mental illnesses. At its most basic, this can include help with washing, dressing, getting out of bed in the morning, help taking medicine, and help with the housework.
Social care is becoming more and more important as our population gets older. The number of over 85s in England has gone up by over a third in the last 10 years, and will more than double in the next 20.
Local government has the main responsibility when it comes to publicly funded social care.
So what do councils do? They provide information and advice, they assess and monitor your needs and finances, they provide short-term support called reablement, they safeguard vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect, and they buy and monitor care from a large range of organisations.
With more people living into older age, this means there will be more frail people and more people living with long-term illnesses. In turn this means that there will be more people with needs for care and support.
The number of people receiving formal care from the state has actually reduced over the past six years, despite this increase in need.
Our research shows that the social care system as it stands is struggling to meet the needs of older and disabled people.
A shameful article from an organisation people see as knowledgeable and informed.
The arbitrary nature of these fault lines are illustrated most acutely in the battles over what is known as NHS Continuing Healthcare