By Charlotte Webster-
New research has shown that a record-low one in seven British people are satisfied with UK social care services.
The news comes following the latest British Social Attitudes survey, with analysis of the data from the Nuffield Trust and the King’s Fund.
Only 14% of the 3,362 people questioned said they were very or quite satisfied with social care.
Dissatisfaction rose significantly to 57% of respondents ,up from 50% per cent in the previous year, and reaching its highest level on record.
Not getting all of the social care required was the most common reason for dissatisfaction, as nearly two thirds of respondents chose that option.
Respondents were also expressed dissatisfaction with care because of poor pay, working conditions and training (57%) or a lack of support for unpaid carers (49%), while 39% said care is not affordable. Social workers are often burdened with too much workload.
Two thirds of people who have used or had contact with social care either for themselves or for someone else were dissatisfied with it. This is 20 percentage points higher than people who have not had contact.
This high level of dissatisfaction was seen across ages, income groups, sexes and political affiliations. Older people (over 65), and those on higher incomes were the most dissatisfied.
Report author and Nuffield Trust researcher, Laura Schlepper, said: “This year we boosted the number of people asked about their levels of satisfaction with social care services and the results are troubling. Social care services are a lifeline and vital service to help people lead the lives they want to, yet only 14% of the British public are satisfied.
“The reasons behind plummeting and record-low satisfaction appear to be the product of decades of woeful neglect. Broken, complicated and fragmented services, demoralised staff in short supply and the increasing strain on friends, family, and informal carers to pick up the pieces, all create a sobering reality. These results are yet another reason for politicians to replace words with action on social care reform.”
Social Care Institute for Excellence chief executive, Kathryn Smith, said: “We are disappointed in the findings revealing that social care satisfaction is at a record low.
“We know that in order to boost satisfaction, we need to invest in the workforce, plus reduce reliance on and support informal or unpaid carers; and more effectively assist those who rely on care both in terms of services provided and over cost adjustment for people who draw on services.”
This most recent survey was carried out between 7 September and 30 October 2022. It asked a nationally representative sample (across England, Scotland and Wales) of 3,362 people about their satisfaction with the National Health Service (NHS) and social care services overall.