Around a third of people say they are less likely to seek to a care home for relatives in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new survey.
The survey for the Policy Exchange and the Institute for Public Policy Research shows 31% of those polled were less likely to seek residential care for an elderly relative than before the coronavirus outbreak.
And 40% those aged over 65 said they are less likely to consider it for themselves.
The survey comes as pressure mounts on the government on both PPE and testing in social care.
There has also been widespread criticism of the lower priority given to the care sector in the pandemic’s early stages, despite warnings that people depending on it were acutely vulnerable to the disease.
The survey also more than half (52%) of Conservative voters and nearly two-thirds (64%) of Labour voters backing an increase in funding for social care, with around two-thirds (64 and 67%, respectively) believing it to be under-funded at present.
But the majority of both Conservative and Labour voters rejected private insurance schemes or selling the family home to fund social care.
The most popular options to fund it are ‘general taxation, in the way the NHS is funded’ and ‘a new social care tax’.
In a joint article released alongside the new polling, IPPR and Policy Exchange point to the fact that the two think-tanks from across the political spectrum have separately reached the same conclusion about reform of social care.
‘It is hard to overstate the impact of coronavirus on this country’s care homes. The scale of the crisis has also reminded the nation that the care system is badly in need of reform,’ said Policy Exchange senior fellow, Richard Sloggett.
‘We need to fix this urgently to restore the country’s faith in social care. This will not be easy but our polling shows the emergence of a new national consensus on the future for social care. The public wants a system that is largely free at the point of use and properly funded like the NHS out of general taxation.’
IPPR senior research fellow Harry Quilter-Pinner added: ‘COVID-19 has been devastating for the social care sector and for many who rely on it. This polling demonstrates that without significant government intervention we risk losing trust in what is a vital public service.
‘But the social care crisis pre-dates the pandemic. Governments have consistently promised to find a long-term funding solution for social care but failed to deliver.’
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