You’re in for a surprise! (The results)

The results are in! In my last post, I asked people to answer five questions about social care in England because I had a hunch that what people thought would be different from reality. In fact, perception was the complete opposite of reality.

Q1. The correct answer is that 89.7% of people receiving social care support in England were quite, very or extremely satisfied with the services received. This option received the lowest votes, with most people thinking only 25.5% of social care users would be so satisfied.

Q2. Same trend. Correct answer was 53.4% of social care users rate their Quality of Life as good, very good or so good it could not be improved, but most people thought only 18.9% of social care users would say this.

Q3. The reality is that 57% of social care users feel that the way they were treated when receiving a service made them feel better about themselves. Most people thought only 29% of users would say this.

Q4. We got closer to reality with this one. The most popular answer was that there are 2.81m people who get social care support in England, but the reality is that only 1.57m people do. The correct answer got the second highest number of votes, along with those thought 4.2m got social care support, which is probably nearer the total number of people with social care needs.

Q5. This is the one stat that I think should shock people. Despite the universal acceptance that more people need social care support, the actual number of people getting support fell by 12% between 2008 and 2010. Over 70% of us thought the number had increased.

Now stats are interesting but it’s what you learn from them that gives them power. The answers to the first three questions tell me that most people who get social care support are glad they do and that their quality of lives are improved as a result. So providing social care support is a good thing. The answers to the last two questions tell me that there are more and more people in need who are not receiving this “good thing” – social care support.

Putting these two things together tells me quite simply that we are failing people. The Government has the opportunity to provide a “good thing” to people that would be valued and improve their quality of life. Government must grasp this opportunity, publish their proposals in March as promised and radically improve the social care support system so that more people get more support and use less of their savings to do so. Go on Government, do something good.


 Government postpones reform until 2025

Take care


PS. We’re going to publish on in a few days the results for each council from the survey of social care users, and we will also do so for a survey of carers done in 2009/10. We will try to rank performance so you can see where is doing well and where could do better. I’ll put the link up in a comment to this post once they’re up.


December 14, 2011 - Posted by | Benefits | , ,


  1. I always wonder exactly who was consulted in these surveys – I know that they did a carers’ survey not long ago and it turned out Social Services Depts were very selective in who they consulted. I also wonder if people who are campaigning and fighting for better services are those who see the failures of the systems – my daughter and I are victims of such failures right now. Also, the fall in people getting services could be linked to the raising of eligibility criteria, meaning people who are not in critical or substantial need are not getting anything.

    Comment by Jill Pay | December 14, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hi,We have just created a new face book group called Carers solidarity forum and in 2 weeks we have 100 members ,all have had problems with failing services both for carers and the caree.I would also like to know how the consultation was done was it done by the council or through the carers centres?The fall in people getting services could also be because councils are still including carers [what they do for the person] in the Community care assessment which is unlawful;

    Comment by liz jones | December 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hi Liz
    It was done through councils, and I think you’re right that too many councils are assuming carers will be providing high levels of care and assessing any needs that the carer cannot possibly meet rather than the disabled person’s whole needs.

    Comment by Gordon Conochie | December 14, 2011 | Reply

  4. In Havering, basic care in the home costs for some elderly bedbound people (with savings) went up by ONE THIRD this year.
    This while e.g.: pavements in the Collier Row area were unnecessarily re-furbished. (Perfectly good paving stones taken away and concrete instead put down.)

    Comment by Pat | December 15, 2011 | Reply

  5. Hi Gordan
    Where can i find the results for each council from the survey of social care users?,Just had a look on your web page and i cant find it ,not sure what the title is.
    Thank you

    Comment by liz jones | January 1, 2012 | Reply

  6. Hi Liz,
    Sorry, we’ve not put up online yet – holidays got in the road. If you e-mail for my attention then I’ll e-mail you the summary and ranking that we’ve done. If you want to see the master data that Government released you can get it:–final-2010-11

    It’s the fourth attachment listed called: PSS Annex Council Tables Adult Social Care Survey

    Thanks Liz, and happy new year

    Comment by Gordon Conochie | January 4, 2012 | Reply

  7. I’m eager to see how you have done this. Not saying for one minute that people are not right about their own feelings and I don’t have an opinion about the political aspects but we do need to be careful how we measure happiness. What does ‘happy with’ mean and how was it measured?

    As humans we are capable of manufacturing happiness because its awful feeling unhappy, we are very good at it even in the worst circumstances. The responses may or may not represent true happiness but to find the answer we need to find a way to measure it properly. A survey cant do that, otherwise it would need to be a book the size of the Guinness book of records.

    Governments measure a countries well-being in terms of GDP or how much money and stuff they have. They are easier to contemplate and calculate.

    But you can have a rich country whose population are miserable and morally, socially bankrupt or a poor country where happiness comes from a sense of community, family, belonging, support and love.

    Costa Rica according to the Happy Plannet Index (NEF) is the happiest country on the plannet. Average Life expectancy is 78.5 years. More than the UK or USA. In our terms we may think they have a low standard of living. But they invested in social, health and education a long time ago. They have the highest literacy rates. And they are doing all this on a quarter of the resources of a typical western country.

    Comment by Rob | January 12, 2012 | Reply

  8. This is interesting Gordon.

    I was taking a survey last night about something similar and I really don’t know what to feel. I think it’s good that we haven’t lot everything and support is around, but I do think that support is not enough.

    I will be looking out for future posts, as you know everyday is a different day lol.

    Thanks Hun,

    Holly X

    Comment by Holly Crawford | March 28, 2012 | Reply

  9. In my experience of Ofsted and care investigations the school/council purposefully select only those who think they are having a positive experience i use the word “think” as many are actually in the dark as to what their entitlements are and what standards should be in place so view frequently failing councils as doing a good job!! Frequently no information is available and carers are left in the dark. Caps are set regardless of care needs and Assessments are based on budgetry restraint and frequently bear no relation to the individuals need….most carers are grateful for the minimum levels of support and don’t speak out as they worry they will loose the little they get….. my expectation is my son can live independently and away from this “like with like” mentality and culture controlloing funds..sharing only serves to save budgets not work in the best interest of the clients whose conditions exacerbate on anothers in most cases…..corporate care companies whose focus is solely on profit that standards of care…………suggest you rephrase your questions and ask a broader group of users.

    Comment by Carole Cliffe | September 13, 2013 | Reply

  10. oh yes and most charities are funded by local councils and in my experience they never disappointingly bite the hand that feeds them and are mere puppets in what is a very political game and sector due to the level of funding needed to sustain services.

    Comment by Carole Cliffe | September 13, 2013 | Reply

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