A short history of social care funding reform in England: 1997 to 2019

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  • Posted:Wednesday 31 July 2019

Adult social care in England – unlike health care – is not free at the point of use. Support from the state is reserved for those with both the highest level of need, and the lowest means. This means that many people have to fund their care needs themselves, sometimes facing costs of more than £100,000.

Since the 1990s, this has been widely seen to be unfair, and successive governments have attempted to reform the overall approach to funding adult social care but without success. Here we outline the history of the past 22 years of attempts to reform how social care funded.


The road to nowhere: a timeline of reform of social care funding in England

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