Britain Facing Social Care 'Time-bomb' with Thousands of People Underprepared to Look After Themselves in Old Age

CHERTSEY, England, February 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Experts say the knock-on effect of lack of planning for later life, as highlighted in poll conducted for this year's ASTELLAS INNOVATION DEBATE[TM],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 over two-thirds (68 per cent) of people questioned saying they are expecting the Government to fund high quality residential care in later life[1]. Despite only 21 per cent believing elderly residential care will actually be provided by the state when they need it[1], 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[1]. Just ten per cent say they would use a private insurance policy to pay for care home bills.

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Experts say the knock-on effect of this lack of planning will only add further pressure to the current adult social care system, as well as send ripples right across the NHS. Former Government Health Minister and MP, the Rt Hon Paul Burstow comments, "The NHS can only be sustainable if there is a functioning social care system too. Hospitals sit in a complex and increasingly fragile ecology. The poll for the debate reveals a worrying fatalism about the state of social care.  A bankrupt care system will undermine the NHS".

Current shortages in elderly care cost the NHS GBP669 million according to an Age UK study[2]. In October 2015, the number of bed days lost due to delayed transfer of care peaked at 160,094[3] leading to NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, calling for an urgent political consensus on paying for elderly and social care earlier this year[4].

With the number of people aged 85 or over projected to almost double in the next 20 years[5], the current system pressures are only set to increase. Sir David Nicholson, former Chief Executive of the NHS comments, "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".

The survey also revealed a significant lack of awareness among the general public about the cost of health and social care[1]. Almost a third (29 per cent) of those surveyed thought a day in a residential care home costs less than GBP70 per day when the actual cost averages at approximately GBP97 per day, with some nursing homes charging up to GBP128[6]. The findings follow a government announcement that a pledge to cap residential care costs at GBP72,000 per person has been pushed back to 2020[7].

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'.

As part of this year's debate, we created a new animated film which explores the relationship between ageing and healthcare costs - looking at the impact a single family has on the UK system.  This film is available online here [ ].

Follow the debate on Twitter via @AstellasINNOV8 [ ] or join in the conversation at #innovatedebate

About The Astellas Innovation Debate: 

The annual ASTELLAS INNOVATION DEBATE brings together some of the world's most progressive thinkers to discuss the role of innovation in addressing the greatest challenges of our time. Previous debates have focused on innovation in a time of austerity, population ageing, and what the DNA and data revolutions mean for our health. World-leading experts such as Nobel Laureates Professor Sir Andre Geim and Dr Elizabeth Blackburn; Lord Robert Winston; Professor John Appleby; Dr Leroy Hood; Baroness Helena Kennedy; Professor Lionel Tarrasenko and Professor Rolf Stahel have tackled some of the biggest challenges affecting science and scientific discovery.

This year, broadcaster and presenter Jonathan Dimbleby will chair a panel of world-leading experts for the fourth ASTELLAS INNOVATION DEBATE - Situation Critical: Making Healthcare Fit for the Future, taking place on Thursday 25th February 2016 at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.  

In front of an invited audience of key figures from the worlds of science, medicine, politics and business, they will debate the biggest questions about the future of healthcare. Professor Trisha Greenhalgh is a Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, and one of this year's panellists who will be debating the following critical questions:

- What role can innovation play in the drive for affordable healthcare?
- What can we learn from healthcare reforms in different countries?
- Should we expect less from the state and take more responsibility for our own health?
- Is privatisation the key to improved productivity - or a threat to the principle of
healthcare for all?
- Should we simply pay more tax?

About Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.  

Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd. operates in 40 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is the EMEA regional business of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc (Astellas). Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. The organisation's focus is to deliver outstanding R&D and marketing to continue growing in the world pharmaceutical market. Astellas' presence in Europe also includes an R&D site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs over 4,500 people across the EMEA region.


1) Astellas Data on File, Astellas Innovation Debate combined survey findings -
2) Age UK. Escalating social care crisis in England. Available online via (Accessed 9
February 2016):
3) The Guardian. Unblocking beds: One hospital's efforts get patients home. Available
online via (Accessed 9 February 2016):
4) The Guardian. NHS chief demands political consensus on funding elderly and social
care. Available online via (Accessed 9 February 2016):
5) Age UK. Later Life in the United Kingdom: Factsheet. Available online via (Accessed 9
February 2016):
6) Social Care Institute for Excellence. How much does care cost. Available online via
(Accessed 9 February 2016):
7) BBC News. Care costs cap delayed until 2020. Available online via (Accessed 9 February

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Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Emma White, CommunicationsManager, Astellas Pharma EMEA, Mobile: +44-(0)7786-312-623,

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