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Social Services

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 28 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 758W, on social services, whether he proposes that funding for the service will be drawn entirely from his Department's budget; what mechanisms he intends to use to ensure that joined-up services are delivered; and what changes to existing arrangements for delivery of care services he envisages. (295615)

The Green Paper says that we want to build a system that is universal, fair, affordable, clear and helps people to live their lives the way they want to. We need to look at a range of different ways to bring more funding into the care and support system. Exact details of future funding arrangements will depend on which funding option is chosen as the basis of the new Care and Support system.

The Green Paper set outs three ways in which we might fund a new system:

partnership—the Government covers some care costs, more if you have a low income;

insurance—the Government covers some care costs, and helps you take out insurance for the rest, if you want it; and

comprehensive—everyone over retirement age who can afford it would pay into a state insurance scheme, so that everyone who needs care and support will receive it free. We would look at having a free care and support system for people of working age alongside this.

The Green Paper states that all the services that you need should work together. People should be able to expect that the professionals who work with them will work together, particularly when needs are assessed. The Government will tackle the obstacles to partners working together nationally so that local services are freer to make their own choices about how they can improve joined-up working. We will develop a coherent strategy centred on patients, care-users and their carers, to support local leaders to make sure that joined-up services are delivered.