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Public dissatisfaction with social care grows

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Dissatisfaction with social care services increased sharply last year, according to a survey by Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund.

The research published today found 23% of respondents were satisfied with social care services in 2017, which is a similar proportion to the year before.

However, 41% said they were dissatisfied with services, a 6% increase on 2016’s results.

Satisfaction remains far lower with social care than with the NHS, which dropped 6% to 57%.

Net satisfaction with social care services was -18%, compared to between 28% in 2007. Net satisfaction for the NHS overall and individual NHS services was 52% last year.

Responding to the findings, vice chair of the Local Government association’s community wellbeing board Linda Thomas (Lab) said public satisfaction with services will only improve when social care is adequately funded to enable councils to invest in preventing demand pressures.

She said: “Councils, providers and hardworking care workers are doing all they can against a backdrop of reduced budgets to provide high quality and dignified care to those who need it, at a time and location that suits them.

“However, the consequences of historic underfunding of adult social care get worse with every passing year. It is therefore no surprise that the public is becoming more aware of the impacts, including threats to the quality and availability of care, with an increasing number of providers either pulling out of contracts or going out of business.”

The survey consisted of 3,988 interviews with adults in England, Scotland and Wales.

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