Future health and social care decisions should be put to public vote


•Simplyhealth research released today reveals that a third of UK adults (34%) believe that decisions on the future of health and social care should be made by an independent body

•Only 8% of people think the governing political party should make decisions around the future of the country’s health and social care

•More than a tenth of UK adults (16%) think people should fund their own care through personal savings, but with a cap

•Over a third (36%) of people are in favour a ring-fenced tax to specifically to fund the NHS and social care

A third (34%) of UK adults believe decisions around the future of the country’s health and social care should be taken out of political control, according to latest statistics from everyday healthcare company Simplyhealth.

Despite having two general elections and the EU Referendum since 2015, more people think decisions around the future of health and social care should be put to a public vote (15%) than made by the governing political party (8%).

This viewed is backed by 22% of 18-24 years olds – the highest figure across all age groups – reflecting the increased engagement of young adults in the democratic process shown in the most recent General Election.

While a third (34%) of people would like to see an independent body of health professionals and charities responsible for making decisions around health and social care, a fifth (22%) would like a cross-party group made up of politicians invested with this responsibility.

More than four in ten (44%) people of those surveyed think that politicians concentrating on easier problems or ‘media-friendly’ wins is a large challenge, and 68% think addressing current needs versus long-term needs is a large challenge to reforming the health and social care sector.

The Government is expected to consult on proposals to reform care and support for older people.

To help create a sustainable health and social care system, 43% of people believe the government should fund social care provision similar to the NHS, while around a third (36%) think a ring-fenced tax to specifically fund the NHS and social care is the way forward – something a quarter (24%) of young people aged 18-24 year olds support.

While more than half (58%) of people who are in favour of a ring-fenced tax didn’t know how much this should be, of those who did have a view (42%)**, the range was wide with 5% being the most popular level.

In addition, 16% of adults think people should using personal savings to fund their own care, but with a cap on the amount they have to spend, to help create a sustainable social care system; a quarter (26%) think the option to save a percentage of employees’ pension contributions could be a solution.

Romana Abdin, Chief Executive of Simplyhealth
The question of how we care for our elderly is complex, but it’s so important we get it right.

Elderly people are some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and so it’s crucial we establish a sustainable support network to assist them and those who support them to meet their care needs.

Given successive governments have not yet reached widespread consensus for long-term reform, these results suggest there is a public appetite for a collaborative approach to decision-making around health and social care that is not influenced by party politics.

The forthcoming consultation will provide the opportunity for the government to have a candid conversation with the country about how we safeguard the wellbeing and dignity of the nation in old age now and in the future.
Romana Abdin, Chief Executive of Simplyhealth

* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,679 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th February - 1st March 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

**YouGov; UK population, 1,679; 28 Feb - 1 March 2018. Sample is 274 (42% of 653)