The White Paper on Care and Support, published on 30 March 2010, includes proposals for a National Care Service which would overhaul the way care and support is paid for and provided.
The new system would be phased in three stages:
- Build on ‘the best of the current system’ through reforms that are already underway and deliver the Personal Care at Home Bill
- From 2014 extend the coverage of free care so that people will receive free care if they need to stay in residential care for more than two years.
- Set up a commission to support consensus and advise the Government on the fairest and most sustainable way that people can make their contribution to the care system in the future.
- Set up a National Care Service Leadership Group of expert stakeholders to advise the Government on implementation.
- Introduce a National Care Service Bill to set the legal foundations of the new Service.
- Enshrine in law for the first time nationally consistent eligibility criteria for social care to help to remove the postcode lottery of care that currently exists.
- Continue the drive towards personal budgets so that by 2012 everyone who would benefit from a personal budget will have one.
- Ensure that accurate, relevant and accessible information about what people are entitled to, how the assessment process works and how to access care services is provided to everyone.
- Improve the gateway for accessing social care and disability benefits.
- Introduce a quality framework including a body to drive up quality in social care.
- Stage Three
- The introduction of a comprehensive National Care Service for all adults with an eligible care need that is free when they need it and which is funded by contributions along lines to be decided, as mentioned above.
The White Paper can be viewed on the Department of Health website and via the link below