Government confirms social care Green Paper to be delayed until New Year

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The Government has confirmed it is delaying the publication of its social care Green Paper until the New Year, partly due to the challenges posed by Brexit.

Intended to cover the quality and safety of care services, greater security for those requiring care and a sustainable funding model for social care supported by a stable market, the Green Paper’s publication has been repeatedly delayed and was previously expected last July.

A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokeswoman told carehome.co.uk: “It’s going to be published at the earliest opportunity in the New Year.” The DHSC refused to give a date or month for when the Green Paper would be published in 2019.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock described the Green Paper as “very well advanced” and he wanted to “make sure it gets the attention it deserves”.

Care England CEO Professor Martin Green said: “The Green Paper will give the Government’s view of the future of long-term care. We have waited a long time for successive governments to pontificate therefore the sector has to find its own solutions.”

National Care Forum Chief Executive Vic Raynor blogged: “Whilst the weary may well not view this announcement with great surprise, it remains, of course, of dire consequence for those on the receiving end and involved in the delivery of social care.

“It is absolutely clear this paper cannot come soon enough, and the expectations that hang on it should remain exceptionally high — because it is central to people’s lives.

“However, whilst we wait for the publication of the Green Paper to get the amount of attention it deserves’ and for the Government reform agenda to begin, there are matters of growing urgency in the communities that we serve.”

Meanwhile, a House of Commons Library briefing has been published setting out what is expected to be in the Green Paper. It says it will cover a sustainable social care system, and funding for all adult social care in England. How people pay for their social care could possibly include a cap on lifetime social care bills with £100,000 means-test and an insurance model for paying for social care.

The briefing suggests that the Government does not consider taxation as a “valid solution”. It is available here.

Last reviewed 19 December 2018

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