Old people with docA new poll of medical experts has highlighted how the knock-on effect of lack of planning for later life will further impact upon stretched NHS resources.

Results from a new survey for the annual Astellas Innovation Debate have demonstrated how people are still not preparing financially for residential care in older age, with more than two-thirds of people still expecting the Government to fund high quality residential care in later life.

Despite only 21% believing elderly residential care will actually be provided by the state when they need it, people admit that they are not planning to pay for care themselves, with one in eight expecting their children to cover the costs and 30 per cent willing to accept lower quality state social care. Meanwhile, just 10% say they would use a private insurance policy to pay for care home bills.

Sir David Nicholson, former Chief Executive of the NHS, said: "The NHS and social care are two sides of the same coin one cannot be successful at the cost of the other. People do not fit into bureaucratic compartments and neither should funding."

Current shortages in elderly care cost the NHS £669 million according to an Age UK study. In October 2015, the number of bed days lost due to delayed transfer of care peaked at 160,0943 leading to NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, calling for an urgent political consensus on paying for elderly and social care earlier this year.

The survey also revealed a significant lack of awareness among the general public about the cost of health and social care1. Almost a third of those surveyed thought a day in a residential care home costs less than £70 per day when the actual cost averages at approximately £97 per day, with some nursing homes charging up to £1286. The findings follow a government announcement that a pledge to cap residential care costs at £72,000 per person has been pushed back to 20207.

How the NHS - and other Global health systems - are planning to meet the increasing demand on services caused by the growth in our ageing population is the theme for this year’s Astellas Innovation Debate entitled, ‘Situation Critical’. Follow the debate on Twitter via @AstellasINNOV8 from 6:30pm (Thurs 25 Feb)