Press release

Reforming care and support – better quality care, peace of mind and promoting independence

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

The most radical reform of the social care system in 64 years is announced today.

The overhaul will mean people will get the care and support they need so they don’t reach crisis point. The draft Care and Support Bill consolidates a mess of different laws to, for the first time, create a single modern statute for adult care and support.

This builds on the Government’s decision to prioritise support for social care in the Spending Review, by providing an additional £7.2bn over four years, to ensure service levels can be maintained.

The Care and Support White Paper, together with the draft Care and Support Bill also published today, sets out how the social care system will be transformed from a service that reacts to crises to one that focuses on prevention and is built around the needs and goals of people.

Key elements of the Government’s plans include:

  • People will be confident about the quality of care: ruling out crude “contracting by the minute” that turns care workers into clock watchers and consult on whether more should be done to prioritise continuity of care if a provider goes out of business.
  • People will be treated with dignity and respect: more care workers will be trained and they will deliver high quality care. Dignity and respect will be at the heart of a new code of conduct and national minimum training standards will be set. 
  • Everyone will know what they are entitled to: access to care will be consistent through a national threshold for basic care and people will not have their care interrupted if they move around the country.** **
  • Everyone will have **control** over their care: **people will have clear, practical information and advice on the care system and a way to report bad care. People who receive state support will be in charge of their budget and have control of their care. To support people to live independently for as long as possible, we will inject £200 million into the supported housing market over the next five years
  • Carers will have new rights to public support: the draft Care and Support Bill will, for the first time ever, enshrine in law rights which place carers on the same footing as the people they care for.

The Government is also publishing a progress report on social care funding. The report sets out that the Government agrees the principles of the Dilnot Commission’s model - financial protection through capped costs and an extended means test - would be the right basis for any new funding model.

It is the Government’s intention to base a new funding model on the principles if a way to pay for it can be found. However, whilst it is the right thing to do, given the size of the structural deficit and the economic situation the country faces, the Government is unable to commit to introducing a new system at this stage. Funding reform needs to be considered alongside other priorities and the right place to do this is at the next Spending Review. A final decision will be taken then.

The Government is also taking definitive steps to take forward a number of important recommendations made by the Commission. The progress report commits to introducing a Universal Deferred Payments scheme to ensure no one will be forced to sell their home to pay for care in their lifetime.

The Government will continue to work with stakeholders to consider in more detail variants under the principles of the Dilnot Commission’s model, before coming to a final view in the next Spending Review.

Andrew Lansley said:

“Too often people who need care don’t know who or where to go to, don’t know what care they will get and don’t know how it will be paid for. Our plans will bring the most comprehensive overhaul of social care since 1948 and will mean that people get the care and support that they need to be safe and to live well so they don’t reach a crisis point.

“We agree that the principles of the Dilnot recommendations - financial protection through capped costs and an extended means-test - would be the right basis for any new funding model. 

“However, while this is the right thing to do and it is our intention to base a new funding model on the principles, if a way to pay for it can be found, any proposal which includes extra public spending needs to be considered alongside other spending priorities, which of course include the demographic pressures on the social care service itself.** **The right place to do this is at the next Spending Review.

“We are taking definitive steps now** **to take forward a number of important recommendations made by the Dilnot Commission. We are today committing to a Universal Deferred Payments scheme. This will ensure no one will be forced to sell their home to pay for care in their lifetime.”

The Care and Support White Paper also sets out that:

  • An additional £300 million will be transferred from the NHS to social care to support the transformation of local services and promote better integrated care for patients and service users.
  • It will be easier for people to contribute to their communities through volunteering schemes such as time sharing.
  • From October, an extra £3.8 million will be available so veterans do not have to use their injury compensation to pay for care.
  • People who have a disability and live in a care home will no longer have to give up their wages to pay for their care.

The Draft Care and Support Bill, published alongside the White Paper, provides the legal framework needed to make the Government’s vision a reality, and achieves a fundamental reform of the legislation which underpins social care.  It brings together over a dozen Acts of Parliament dating back over 60 years, into a single, modern statute for care and support.  People will be able to comment on the Draft Bill online, clause by clause, making it one of the most open and transparent pieces of draft legislation ever published.

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said:

“People want a social care system that is fair, high quality and geared towards what people actually want. Our White Paper, draft Bill and progress report mark the most significant Government action in over 60 years to fix a system that is fragmented, confusing and massively variable in terms of quality and provision.

“We are reforming social care and will bring about lasting change to an overwhelmed and outdated system. Our plans will help to drive up standards of care for people, bring about a more joined up preventative approach to care, enabling people to live independently for longer.

“Most importantly however, it will put people at the centre of their own care and give them more information to make the right choices about their needs.”

Frances Patterson at the Law Commission said:

“We are delighted that the government has responded so positively to the recommendations we made in our Adult Social Care report. If implemented, this Bill will clarify the legal framework that supports adult social care and bring beneficial changes to many. With the demographic changes occurring in society that is a significant step forward. The government has accepted our thinking that the individual should be at the heart of the new statute and that the guiding principle of care and support should be to promote the well being of the individual and focus on their needs and aspirations rather than those of the local authority or service provider. The government has also accepted our reforms for carers, which will simplify the system for carers’ assessments and provision of services, as well as many of our other recommendations.”

The draft Bill also includes a small number of critical health measures. These include fulfilling the Government’s commitment to publishing draft clauses on the establishment of Health Education England and the Health Research Authority as non-departmental public bodies.

The Care and Support White Paper is the result of listening to thousands of people and scores of organisations at hundreds of events that were held across the country. People also provided comments on our ‘Caring for our Future’ website.

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  1. For further information please contact the Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5435 / 5375 / 5317
  2. The documents will be available from the Department of Health’s website.