Hancock: Parliamentary logjam delaying social care green paper

5 Jul 19
The long-awaited social care green paper is being delayed by “partisan politics”, the health secretary has claimed.

Matt Hancock told council leaders that the paper has been delayed six times due to a “parliamentary logjam and a lack of cross-party consensus”, at the Local Government Association conference yesterday.

PF previously reported that social care leaders had been encouraged to support early drafts of the green paper despite not being told the details of it.

Hancock told the conference he was frustrated by the lack of progress on the paper and called a settlement for social care to be a “key priority” in the Spending Review.

To tackle the challenges around social care Hancock recommended pursuing a shift to integrated care systems to bring the NHS closer to local authorities.

He also called for the creation of more health and wellbeing boards to increase collaboration and increase integration of services.

The LGA has long called for further roll out of these boards, which bring together political, clinical, professional and community leaders across health and care in order to improve health outcomes for their local communities.

“Health and wellbeing boards are the formal way we bring together NHS and local authority services and I want to see them empowered,” he told delegates.

To coincide with Hancock’s speech at the conference the LGA set the government a 10-week deadline to publish a social care green paper.

The umbrella group said the new prime minister must come up with a document before parliament goes into recess in September for the party conferences.

The plea comes on the anniversary of the LGA publishing its own green paper that made a raft of suggestions including a social care premium for over-40s and working pensioners.

Ian Hudspeth, chair of the LGA’s community wellbeing board, said: “Local government stands ready to host cross-party talks to kick-start this process and make sure we get the answers and certainty we need, so that people can continue to receive essential care and support.”

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