'Care reform can boost UK GDP'
Cass report says care reform can act as an engine for economic growth
A fundamental shift in policy on care for older and disabled people could not only better support families in the UK, but also add significant value to the economy, according to a new report commissioned and published by Carers UK, researched and written by Cass Professor, Leslie Mayhew.
The report argues that care must be accessible to all through improved integration of services to better support the 6.4 million UK carers.
Understanding the economic costs of failures in care is crucial in reforming the current system.
Over three million carers juggle the demands of caring with maintaining a job. Cass Business School's analysis indicates that reforming support for carers could deliver an economic and employment boost by helping keep carers in employment.
The report finds that restructuring care and reconfiguring services can help families stay in work alongside caring. This could deliver higher workplace productivity and staff retention for employers.
In turn, this provides opportunities for growth in the care market, and improves the efficiency of care provision. Such reforms are necessary as more families are in the position of having to provide care to different generations simultaneously, the so called 'pivot generation.'
Alongside improving support for working families, the report also points to wider economic opportunities. With provision of social care services failing to match rapid growth in demand for care from an ageing population, the report argues that stimulation of growth in care services to meet this demand could deliver a boost to GDP.
Chief Executive of Carers UK, Helena Herklots says:"Too often the debate around reform of care for older and disabled people is framed as a drain on public finances. It is time we recognised that helping families to juggle work and care and stimulating a new generation of care services can act as an engine for economic growth."
Professor Mayhew says: "We need to be much smarter about how care is organised and delivered - the system is fragmented and too complex. We need greater integration, better financial incentives, more flexibility, and a focus on prevention."