House of Commons Library

Social care: forthcoming Green Paper (England)

Published Friday, December 14, 2018

This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at the forthcoming Green Paper on social care for adults. Its publication has been further delayed – it will now be published “at the first opportunity in 2019”. A link to the full report in pdf format can be found at the bottom of this page.

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In the March 2017 Budget, the Conservative Government said that it would publish a Green Paper on social care, in order to allow a public consultation to be held. This followed the decision in July 2015 to postpone the introduction of a cap on lifetime social care charges and a more generous means-test that had been proposed by the “Dilnot Commission” and accepted in principle by the then Coalition Government.

During the subsequent 2017 General Election campaign, the Conservative Party made a manifesto commitment to introduce the Green Paper as well as a number of pledges regarding how individuals pay for social care.

The publication of the Green Paper has been delayed several times: from an original publication date of “summer 2017” and then to “the end of” 2017, a revised timeframe of “before the summer [Parliamentary] recess” (i.e. 25 July 2018) was announced. In June 2018, the then Health and Social Care Secretary announced a further delay to the “autumn” of 2018 following the announcement that a ten-year plan for the NHS would be developed; this was later tweaked to “before the end of the year”. It will now be published “at the first opportunity in 2019” according to reported comments from the Government – no further details were provided as to when in 2019 publication might occur.

The Government has said that the proposals in Green Paper will “ensure that the care and support system is sustainable in the long term”. Other topics that the Government have said will be included include integration with health and other services, carers, workforce, and technological developments, among others. The Government will also consider domestic and international comparisons as part of the preparation for the Green Paper.

Social care is a devolved matter. This note relates to England only.

A list of other Library briefings on social care, including a paper on the Conservative Party’s General Election pledges on social care, can be found at the end of the pdf version of the briefing paper.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8002

Author: Tim Jarrett

Topics: Community care, Older people

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