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Social care: the forthcoming Green Paper on older people (England)

Published Tuesday, March 27, 2018

This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at the forthcoming Green Paper on social care for older people – there will be a “parallel process” of work looking at social care for working age adults (although it does not appear that there will be a Green Paper covering this group). 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, as 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, and has since said that it will be published before the 2018 Parliamentary summer recess, which is expected to start on 25 July – it was originally due to be published during the summer of 2017.

The Government has said that the proposals in Green Paper will “ensure that the care and support system is sustainable in the long term”. During the General Election campaign, the Prime Minister said that the proposals in the Green Paper would include a lifetime “absolute limit” (i.e. cap) on what people pay for social care, and the Conservative Party’s manifesto also proposed changes to the means-test. The Health and Social Care Secretary has since confirmed that the Government will implement a cap on lifetime social care charges, according to reports.

Other topics that the Government have said will be included for consultation 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.

The Minister responsible is the Health and Social Care Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who in March 2018 set out the seven principles which will “guide the Government's thinking ahead of the social care green paper”.

This note relates to England.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8002

Author: Tim Jarrett

Topics: Community care, Older people

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