Social Care Green Paper | adam HTT

The original rationale for the Green Paper was to explore the issue of how social care is funded, and a number of policy ideas have reportedly been under consideration for inclusion in the Green Paper including:

  • a more generous means-test
  • a cap on lifetime social care charges
  • an insurance and contribution model
  • a Care ISA
  • tax-free withdrawals from pension pots


In mid-December 2018, in response to a question to the Health and Social Care Secretary asking “whether he plans to publish his [social care] green paper before 31 December 2018”, the Government replied: “An ageing society means that we need to reach a longer-term sustainable settlement for social care and we recognise that parliamentary colleagues will wish to engage thoroughly in the debate following publication. Therefore, given wider events, we will be publishing the Adult Social Care Green Paper at the earliest opportunity in the new year”

A parliamentary question was tabled asking the Government to “define when the earliest opportunity is to publish the Social Care Green Paper”. In response, Ms Dinenage told the House that: “The Social Care Green Paper remains a priority for this Government. The Department is working hard to publish a Green Paper setting out proposals for reform at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately we cannot currently confirm a publication date.”

adam notes that the underlying principle is for the Green Paper and longterm plan to achieve the goal of determining funding for, and integration of, health and care in the future.  This reflects Matt Hancock’s statement in October 2017 “…we need to make sure we get more funding and better integration between the healthcare and social care systems”


To date, the Government has confirmed that the Green Paper on social care for older people will cover the following issues in addition to the central issue of how individuals pay for social care :

  • the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) care home market report published on 30 November 2017 – in March 2018 the Government published its response to the report,61 and stated that the Green Paper would “take forward” the issues raised by the CMA
  • market stabilisation – the former Health and Social Care Secretary said that this was “one of the key parts” of the Green Paper that the DHSC was working on, adding that “we have seen a number of care homes go under … Our particular concern is … people in the advanced stages of dementia who might not be able to get the care that they want. This is a key focus of our work”
  • market shaping and capacity – the DHSC said that the Green Paper will “consider the fundamental issues facing the care system, including the future sustainability of the market, capacity planning and market shaping responsibilities”, which are currently the responsibility of local authorities as set out in the Care Act
  • integration of health and social care – the Government said the Green Paper “naturally needs to look particularly at the interaction between health and social care”



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