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Share your experience of care and support

Published on 25 January 2018

A nurse helping a gentleman to wash in a bathroomWhat do you think when you of social care? If your mind jumps to care homes, then you’re not alone. But social care is so much more than this, especially for people with arthritis and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, it can be a key factor in helping people to stay independent.

If you have experience of the system - whether you’ve successfully or unsuccessfully tried to access support, use aids around the home, or have funded your own care - please spare a few minutes and fill in the Care and Support Alliance’s survey on social care.

If social care doesn’t just mean care homes, what does it mean?

Social care is personal care and practical support to help people live well with a whole range of long-term conditions, illnesses, physical disabilities and mental impairments such as living with a learning disability. It can also provide support for carers. For some it does include the option of care homes, but for many, it can be care in their own home delivered by paid carers, the provision of aids and adaptations, meals on wheels, time at day care centres, supported living arrangements, along with many other services.

Aren’t social care services only for older people?

Having a long-term condition, or living with a mental impairment or physical disability can happen to anyone. Adult social care therefore can be accessed by anyone who has care and support needs. Local authorities must assess the needs of any individual that asks them to, and then use this information to decide if that person is eligible for care and support from them.

Why should everyone be interested in adult social care?

Most of us will need to rely on some aspect of the social care system in our lifetimes, or care about someone who does. Since 2010 cuts to local authority budgets have seen a reduction in care and support available. This has led to many people not having their care and support needs met. In reality this means people aren’t able to do basic day to day activities like eating, washing or going to the toilet. It can also mean that people can’t take part in wider activities to help improve their well-being like being able to get out and about in their local community, stay in employment, or do voluntary work that they enjoy.

What can you do to help?

Our organisation wants the social care system to improve. To work towards this, we are members of the Care and Support Alliance and have developed a short survey to find out what peoples’ experience of social care is. It doesn’t’ matter if you don’t currently receive social care, if you have care and support needs we’d like to hear from you. The results of this survey will help us understand how to bring about changes in the health and social care system to benefit people with arthritis and MSK conditions, as well as other conditions.

Take part in the survey now.

Why is it important?

In summer 2018, the Government has promised to produce a document sharing its plans for the future of social care and particularly funding. They will then want to engage with experts in the social care sector, social care users and the public. Your responses to this survey will help us impact the Government’s decisions, and ensure the system is shaped to benefit people with arthritis and MSK conditions.

If you’d like to know more about social care services for people with arthritis you can read our policy position here, or you can speak to Katherine Stevenson ( in our policy team.

Back to Arthritis Research UK press releases

Social Care and people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions

A woman holding a the handle of a walking stick

Arthritis Research UK is committed to ensuring that people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions have timely access to a fair and equitable social care system.

Government announces proposals for social care

Social care worker with a lady

On 16 November 2017, the Government announced that it will publish a green paper on social care and support by summer 2018. We welcome this but are concerned by some of the details.

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