News story

Discussions start on improving care and support

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Experts have been enlisted to help the Government’s discussions on how to improve the care and support system in England.

It is estimated that within 20 years, the number of over 85s will double, and the number of people living with life-long disabilities is likely to grow too. People want to see higher quality care, with choice and control over the services they use. With the mixture of greater expectation and greater demand on services, we must act to improve the system.

We want to work collaboratively with a range of people and organisations involved in care and support, drawing upon the networks of expertise and experience that have developed over many years.

Key leaders from the care and support community have been asked to help lead discussions on six broad themes:

  • Quality - Imelda Redmond (Carers UK)
  • Personalisation of Care - Jeremy Hughes (Alzheimer’s Society)
  • Shaping local care services - Peter Hay (ADASS)
  • Prevention and early intervention - Alex Fox (NAAPS)
  • Integration (in partnership with the NHS Future Forum) - Geoff Alltimes (Hammersmith and Fulham Council) and Dr Robert Varnam (Practising GP, Manchester)
  • Role of financial services - Nick Kirwan (ABI)

What do you think?

The Caring for Our Future engagement exercise will run for the next three months. It follows on from the report of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, and aims to use the report as the basis for engagement as a key part of a wider care and support reform agenda.

We want to hear from people who use care and support services, from carers, local councils, care providers and the voluntary sector, on what priorities this Government needs to focus on to inform its formal plans to improve the care system.

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:

Care services can make a profound difference to the day-to-day lives of millions of people in this country.

I know the current care system needs to change. People tell me that it is unfair, confusing and unpopular, which is why we need to act and ensure the system is sustainable for the long term.

I want to see high-quality care that gives people choice in how their needs and ambitions are met, and helps them to live independent, active and healthy lives.

As part of Caring for Our Future, the Government also wants to hear people’s views on the recommendations made by the Commission on Funding of Care and Support and how we should assess these proposals, including in relation to other potential priorities for improvement.

Making changes to the care and support system will not be not simple. There are no easy answers. The Government recognises that we face difficult economic times, and will have to carefully weigh up different priorities and calls on resources before deciding how to act.

Next steps

Later in the autumn we will ask the six discussion leaders to bring together the views they have gathered on support for the Commission’s proposals, and the wider priorities for change.

This engagement will help decide next steps and inform the Government’s White Paper, and progress report on funding reform, planned for spring 2012.

This engagement period follows on from the recent publications of two independent reports from the Law Commission on simplifying and modernising the social care legal framework, and the Dilnot Commission on Funding of Care and Support.