Social care leaders ‘disappointed’ by green paper delay

20 Jun 18

The social care green paper delay “caps off a disappointing few days” for the sector, social care leaders have said.

Jeremy Hunt told parliament on Monday evening the Department of Health and Social Care will delay the release of the much-anticipated social care green paper until the autumn.

He explained the department wants to bring the green paper out at the same time as the 10-year NHS plan, which Theresa May called for earlier on Monday when she announced the £20.5bn funding boost for the NHS.

The prime minister has asked NHS England boss Simon Stevens to work with senior doctors to come up with a 10-year plan to ensure “every penny” of the £394m extra a week is “well spent” and that it “tackles waste, reduces bureaucracy and eliminates unacceptable variation”.

Hunt told the Commons: “Because we want to integrate plans for social care with the new NHS plan, it does not make sense to publish it before the NHS plan has even been drafted.

“So we now intend to publish the social care green paper in the autumn around the same time as the NHS plan.”

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of the Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “The decision to delay the social care green paper caps off a disappointing few days for everyone involved in social care.

“With a delayed green paper and no additional funding, the brutal reality is that older and disabled people, and their families, are struggling now.

“The NHS is now in a position to make long-term plans based on a long-term funding solution. Social care can do neither.”

ADASS led calls earlier this week for the sector to receive the same sort of funding support announced for the NHS.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “With this delay, the onus is now firmly on the government to live up to their promises and come up with some game-changing ideas later in the year.”

Hunt promised in March the social care green paper would “jump start” a debate on how social care should be funded in the future.

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