The Employment, Social Policy, Health, and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) on June 14th, 2021, endorsed the Social Protection Committee (SPC) and European Commission 2021 Joint Report on Long-Term Care.

The report provides a state of play of long-term care provision and key challenges across the EU. It also details a first analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has strongly affected LTC systems, adding evidence to the urgency of strengthening them.  Principle 18 of the European Pillar of Social Rights states that everyone has the right to affordable long-term care services of good quality, particularly home-care and community-based services. The document reveals the demand for high-quality LTC is expected to rise, with 38.1 million people projected to need care by 2050. Therefore, reinforcing its provision can contribute to gender equality and social fairness, given the current overrepresentation of women in the sector.

The findings also show that a common understanding of quality in long-term care is needed. Services should be a person-centered model based on the needs and preferences of the person in need of care.

Different approaches are also used for measuring quality, with a wide range of indicators, focusing on structures and processes or related to the personal experience of care recipients. Quality of care is also affected by the workforce, organisations (e.g. integration of services to cater to complex needs), technology, and funding. The efforts to ensure quality are mixed and mainly focus on residential care. Thus more attention is also needed on home and community-based care. In this regard, Eurodiaconia has been advocating for an EU framework standardizing the quality framework across Europe. You can read our joint input with Social Platform here.

Read more about the Joint Report on Commission’s website.