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White Paper on Social Care

01 December 2021

Government White Paper fails to re-build the care system

On Wednesday 1st December, the Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, made a statement introducing the White Paper on Social Care. The Government ambitions were lofty: Choice and control; personalised care; and fairness.

However the White Paper failed to address the fundamental crisis in social care, with 400,000 people waiting for assessment, 11 million unpaid carers and their loved ones being inadequately supported, over 100,000 care staff vacancies and a rapidly shrinking Care Home sector.

To begin to put social care back on track, it is estimated that a minimum of £8 billion per year needs to be spent on the system. Currently, Local Authorities are struggling to put sufficient funds into the system and are even trying to close the gap by requiring Disabled people using care services, to pay a higher proportion of their state benefits towards the cost.

The White paper talks about new money for community housing, more funding  for the Disabled Facilities Grant, starting a housing repair service, better use of digital, creating a website and piloting new ways of delivering care. In relative terms, the money spent on these initiatives is tiny.

Fazilet Hadi, Disability Rights UK head of Policy said: “Whilst some of these measures are welcome, they are definitely icing on the cake, whilst attention to the actual cake itself is missing.”

“The White Paper does almost nothing to support Disabled people in 2021-2022 to receive acceptable and appropriate levels of care”.

“The disparity between how social care and the NHS are treated, remains markedly unfair. Where money to stem backlogs in elective surgery is found immediately, significant additional funding for social care isn’t even on the radar.”

People at the Heart of Care White Paper

Press Release