Care services should be funded according to need rather than income or assets, Caring Choices coalition survey finds

Three times more people believe that care services should be funded according to people’s needs rather than their income or assets, according to a survey published today.

But while 58% of people believe the state should have the most responsibility to help with the cost of care, almost half said they expect to have to rely on their own personal savings, the YouGov survey for the Caring Choices charity coalition found.

Over one third of people expect to rely on the NHS for financial support, while 17% think they would receive financial support from their children, the survey of 2,306 adults found.

It also found that the NHS and national and local government were viewed by nearly half of people as significant sources of practical care.

The Caring Choices coalition  run by the King’s Fund, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Help the Aged and Age Concern , and supported by 11 other organisations, is calling for a major public debate on how people will pay for care in the future.

Mervyn Kohler, head of public affairs at Help the Aged, said: “The case for shaking up our care services is incontrovertible but where there is controversy is how to pay for it. These findings show that the public expects to fund a reasonable amount from their personal assets, but with the state funding a greater share. It also shows that care services should be available on the basis of need, not simply a person’s ability to stump up the cash for them.”

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the King’s Fund said: “It is clear that the current long-term care system is complex, unfair and unsustainable for the future. It not only penalises people with moderate savings, but it also discourages hundreds of thousands from receiving the support they need. While the state cannot provide everything, these findings show that the public is prepared to contribute to the costs of their own care. What we need now is a debate about roles, responsibilities and risks – and the trade-offs we are prepared to make as individuals and as a society to ensure we all get the care we need and deserve.”

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