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  • OPINION: Will the green paper mean all-systems go for social care?

    By Ailsa Colquhoun, Editor, Care Home Management

    The care home world has been waiting with bated breath for some good news to come from the Department of Health and Social Care in the form of the green paper on adult social care.

    And good news will be timely indeed. With all the doom and gloom about “shock care home insolvencies” and the problems of financing care home excellence out of diminishing local authority budgets – not to mention the sword of Damocles of the HMRC sleep-in ruling – there are many who will feel that care homes are due their bit of good luck.

    In the past few months care minister Caroline Dinenage has been very visible at events such as the Dementia Care and Nursing Home show and the Alzheimer’s Society annual conference speaking lots of warm words about the value of the sector, its importance to people’s quality of life and also of the ‘umbilical’ links between the NHS and social care.

    She has also pointed out that the green paper, which is expected to be launched in support of the NHS 70thanniversary in July, is the department’s chance to transform social care. Many have seen Theresa May’srecent £20 billion NHS funding boost as acknowledgement that the system is, indeed, overly cash-strapped.

    Personally, I would caution against placing too much hope in the green paper. To me, it seems quite a big ask that one piece of policy will usher in a revolution in social care – do you remember the ‘so big you can see it from space’ reorganisation of the NHS in 2013? Some five years on from that, and in the era of GPs co-commissioning with CCGs, it is easy to find people who think we have merely navigated ourselves back to where we were at the start.

    And, let’s not forget that the cosmic reorganisation seen in the NHS over the past few years has not been accompanied by stellar amounts of additional funding.  I am not sure why social care should feel its fate will be so very different.

    Care Home Management magazine will be at Health +Care, ExCeL, on June 27-28 and at the Care Forum on July 2-3. If you feel differently, why not come over and we can discuss!


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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