Social care policymakers are now confident that the green paper on
adult social care will be published before Christmas, quelling
fears that it would be delayed until after the next general
Community Care understands that the paper is almost finished and
will emphasise developing the range and use of direct payments.
Senior Department of Health officials have told the Local
Government Association and Association of Directors of Social
Services to expect publication “sooner rather than later”.
Initially pencilled in for a September launch, fears were raised
last month that the paper would be delayed until the spring or
after the general election, which commentators expect to be held in
But it now seems that community care minister Stephen Ladyman sees
the paper as a chance to put choice at the heart of health and
social care. Choice in public services will be one of Labour’s key
John Dixon, ADSS disability spokesperson, said he was optimistic
that the green paper would be published before Christmas, but added
that the minister was still “searching around for radical ideas”.
He urged social services to use their expertise in offering choice
to service users and focus on policy delivery.
He said: “We are further on than health in offering choice and we
should help the NHS to achieve its choice objectives in areas such
as mental health services.
“People want to have control over their care and finances but not
to get bogged down in the forms and bureaucracy of being a small
employer. We can’t do that for them unless we do things
The ADSS is working with the LGA on a position paper to develop
It is also looking at the ability of social services to take on the
commissioning of some health care services, joint procurement
arrangements and how to make better use of technology, such as