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Social Care

Volume 536: debated on Tuesday 22 November 2011

17. What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the future costs of long-term social care. (81812)

The Government are committed to publishing a White Paper and a progress report, responding to both the Law Commission and the Dilnot commission recommendations. As part of ongoing work, there have been numerous discussions throughout the Government, including with Her Majesty’s Treasury.

At least 5,000 families a month are having to make decisions about the long-term care of loved ones. Since the election, thousands have had to sell their homes and spend every penny on care. How many more people—and for how much longer—will have to be terrified about their future?

If the hon. Lady had prefaced her question with an apology for failing to sort out the problem for 13 years, I might have taken it more seriously. This Government moved urgently to establish the commission chaired by Andrew Dilnot, we are now actively working through his proposals, and we will come forward with legislation and a White Paper in due course.

Does my hon. Friend agree that the integration of health and social care should be leveraged by commissioners to encourage savings in the acute sector, to contribute to funding much-needed improvements in long-term social care?

There is no doubt that more integration between health and social care is a way of improving the quality of services delivered to the public, and of releasing resources that can then be reinvested in improving services. We know, for example, that the use of reablement services can reduce costs and improve the quality of life outcomes for the people who receive them.