Social Care green paper delayed yet again

Wed,19 December 2018
News Equality & Rights

Social care: forthcoming Green Paper (England)

The publication of the Social Care Green Paper has been delayed several times, since its original scheduled publication date of summer 2017. It was finally supposed to be published this week, before the end of 2018. However, in a new 'Brexit inspired' definition of the word final, its publication has been further delayed until “the first opportunity in 2019”.

Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said it was no surprise that the green paper – which itself represented a “failure to get to grips with the urgent and growing crisis in social care” – had been “pushed back and pushed back”.

She attended a round table discuss social care concerning the green paper and younger disabled people with Secretary of State Health and Social Care Matt Hancock on 19 December.

In the meantime, readers can console themselves with the is  House of Commons Library briefing on what is expected to be in the Green Paper.

What the House of Commons briefing says

The paper will cover funding for all adult social care in England.

In England, adults aged 18−64 represented 33% of adult social care recipients but accounted for half of all spending on adult social care.

Seven principles for care

  1. quality and safety embedded in service provision
  2. whole-person, integrated care with the NHS and social care systems operating as one
  3. the highest possible control given to those receiving support
  4. a valued workforce
  5. better practical support for families and carers
  6. a sustainable funding model for social care supported by a diverse, vibrant and stable market
  7. greater security for all – for those born or developing a care need early in life and for those entering old age who do not know what their future care needs may be.

So far, the Government has confirmed that the Green Paper on social care will cover:

  • a sustainable social care system
  • how people pay for social care, including possibly:

- a cap on lifetime social care bills with £100,000 means-test

- an insurance model for paying for social

The briefing suggests that the government does not see taxation as a ‘valid solution’.

Previous Social Care Green Papers

  • 1999 – Government-appointed Royal Commission publishes its proposals – including a more generous means-test and free personal and nursing care
  • 2009 – Labour Government’s Green Paper proposes a National Care Service, and a subsequent White Paper proposes the introduction of a two-year cap on social care charges followed by free social care after 2015
  • 2011 – Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, set up by the Coalition Government, proposes a cap on lifetime social care charges and a more generous means-test
  • 2014 – Coalition Government legislates to implement the Commission’s recommendations with cross-party support, but in July 2015 the Conservative Government postpones their introduction from April 2016 citing funding pressures and a lack of preparedness by local authorities, and in 2017 further postpones (indefinitely) their coming into force.