Possible U-turn on adult white paper

The government is considering ditching plans to follow the adult
paper green paper with a white paper this autumn, Community
has learned.

Care services minister Liam Byrne is understood by social care
leaders to favour implementing the government’s adult care
vision through a series of documents next year rather than through
an overarching policy document.

This would reverse a commitment to produce a white paper given
by former community care minister Stephen Ladyman when the green
paper was launched in March.

However the Department of Health said no decision would be taken
on the future of adult care policy until after the green paper
consultation finished on 28 July.

The absence of any clear statement of policy on adult services
to follow the green paper would cause consternation within the

However, social care leaders are not wedded to the idea of a
stand-alone white paper. One alternative gaining support within the
Association of Directors of Social Services is to include social
care within this year’s planned white paper on “out of
hospital” healthcare, to promote a “whole
systems” approach to community care services.

Co-chair of the ADSS disabilities committee John Dixon said:
“I would favour that. So often you get a development on one
side [of the social care-health divide] and it’s not matched
by a development on the other side.”

The ADSS and its partners in the adult inter-agency group are to
hold discussions on whether to lobby for an integrated white paper
in their response to the green paper.

However, Dixon admitted there were “obviously concerns if
too much time is spent talking about health” in any white

John Knight, head of policy at disability charity Leonard
Cheshire, said: “Instinctively [a joint white paper] is not
how I would want important social care policy to be developed.

“It’s about the signals it sends out to people who
use social care services and people who work in social care


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