A survey has indicated that 86% of MPs believe a cross-party agreement is needed in order to find a long-term solution to the current pressures on the adult social care system.
The survey by ComRes for the charity Independent Age found 84% of Conservative and 88% of Labour MPs agreed that a cross-party consensus was required.
“We strongly support a cross-party consensus on adult social care”
The poll of 101 MPs – chosen to reflect the political representation across all 533 constituencies – also revealed that only one in 10 believe the current social care system is equipped to respond to the UK’s ageing population.
When specifically asked about social care services in their constituencies, 13% of Labour MPs in England said they believe the system was fit for purpose, compared to 35% of Conservatives.
There was even less confidence in social care services across the UK, with only 8% of Labour MPs and 22% of Conservative MPs believing they were fit for purpose.
Independent Age chief executive Janet Morrison said the survey results showed there is an “overwhelming desire” among MPs to work towards establishing a political consensus on a solution for social care.
“To meet current and future demand, we need to take a radically different approach, recognising the status quo has failed,” she added.
Izzi Seccombe, chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, described the survey findings as “encouraging” and warned that services for elderly and disabled people still face a £2.3bn funding gap by 2020.
Digest: MPs back consensus on social care reforms
She said: “It is absolutely critical that the government brings forward its green paper on the future of social care and works with local government leaders to address the issue of long-term funding and also create the conditions necessary to ensure the development of the right kind of care and support services.”
“We strongly support a cross-party consensus on adult social care and councils are firmly committed to making this happen,” said Ms Seccombe.
She added: “With councils facing further funding pressures and growing demand for support by the end of the decade and beyond, this is the best way to ensure we will find a solution that ensures our future generations enjoy a care system which doesn’t just help them out of bed and gets them washed and dressed but ensures they have dignified and fulfilling lives.”