Seven in 10 voters believe social care should be a top priority for the Government as ministers prepare to unveil their latest plans for legislation tomorrow.
The Queen's Speech will outline the upcoming programme of Bills that Boris Johnson expects to steer through Parliament.
But the Prime Minister has hinted there will be further delays to the long-promised social care overhaul.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday a social care plan “will be unveiled later this year”.
He added: “We’ll be saying more about social care in the weeks and months to come.”
A survey published today shows 69% of people believe it should be a top priority – with 43% claiming the Government does not care about the needs of older people.
Atomik Research quizzed 2,004 adults online between April 8 and 12 for charity MHA – and the findings will pile pressure on the PM to deliver on his social care pledge.
Entering Downing Street in July 2019, he insisted: “We will fix the crisis in social care once and for all, with a clear plan we have prepared.”
But 22 months later, there is no date for when proposals will be revealed.
MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan said: “Our research clearly shows that the public now sees social care as a top priority for the country, and that this should be a key part of the Government’s ‘building back better’ agenda.
“For far too long older people and their needs have been neglected by successive governments of all political persuasions and the time has come to finally fix care for all.”
He added: “Over the last 20 years the adult social care sector has borne the brunt of many broken promises.
“There have been green papers, white papers, commissions, reviews – yet still the system remains broken.
“What we now need is decisive action from Government.
“We need to make sure care is properly resourced, we value our care workers, people have a say in their care, funding is accountable, and there is a seamless pathway with health services.
“The time for talking is over.”
Alzheimer’s Society research director Fiona Carragher said: “It’s hugely worrying to hear rumours of social care plans being shelved yet again, after years of waiting, years of our most vulnerable people being ignored and passed over.
“Now more than ever, the Government must bring forward their long-awaited plan to completely overhaul our social care system; this should provide free, personalised care and put it on an equal footing with the NHS.
“It’s also vital that proposals support and develop the essential skills required for the workforce to deliver the best care people with dementia deserve and so desperately need.”
Welcoming the study, Shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall said: “The Prime Minister promised to ‘fix the crisis in social care’ almost two years ago.
“This new research makes it clear – in tomorrow’s Queen's Speech, he must deliver on his promises and finally present his plan for social care reform.”
Labour peer Lord George Foulkes, who chairs Parliament's cross-party group on ageing and older people, said: “This underlines the urgent need for a National Care Service along the lines of the NHS.
“Older people need the assurance that they do not face destitution as they have to rely increasingly on social care.”
Pensioners' group Silver Voices said the research “shows that the pain and suffering caused by the social care crisis can no longer be buried in the political long grass”.
Director Dennis Reed added: “In his famous 'levelling up' first speech as PM, Boris Johnson promised to fix social care once and for all and it is now high time to deliver.
“There can be no levelling up for older people until social care is provided on the same basis as the NHS, free at the point of delivery.
“It would be an absolute scandal if the Queen's Speech does not feature social care as a priority for the next parliamentary term.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Improving the adult social care system remains a priority for this Government and we will bring forward proposals later this year to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
“Throughout the pandemic we have provided almost £1.8billion in specific funding for adult social care including infection prevention and control measures.
“We’ve also provided free PPE and additional testing and prioritised health and care workers for the vaccine.”
The Mirror is campaigning for Fair Care for All.