Shadow health minister Stephen O’Brien has slammed the government for paying over £400,000 in research costs for last year’s adult care green paper without publishing the full results.
Department of Health figures, disclosed in a parliamentary answer to O’Brien, showed that it paid the Personal Social Services Research Unit £408,000 from 2008-10 to help develop the paper.
This included carrying out financial modelling to identify the long-term costs of the funding proposals included in the green paper.
However, the modelling, which was originally due to be published by last November, will now only be released with the follow-up white paper on funding reform, which is due between now and the general election.
O’Brien said: “What is indefensible is that nearly half a million pounds worth of taxpayers’ money has been spent, and ministers are refusing to publish the modelling. Why can’t taxpayers have the product they have paid for?”
He added: “For the last 13 years, instead of collecting data and investigating the [problems in social care], Labour have ignored [them]. That is why this huge outlay was needed: to try and gather data they should have been looking at all along.”
The DH came under criticism from campaign groups for its failure to publish the modelling before the end of the consultation on the green paper in November.
At the time Stephen Burke, chief executive of Counsel and Care, said: “It’s extremely disappointing to put it mildly given that we were promised it several times in recent weeks.”
The DH said the modelling had had to be revised due to changes in circumstances.
Community Care is awaiting a response from the DH to today’s story.