Minister announces white paper to air reforms of health and social care

A joint health and social care white paper will be published later
this year to take forward the vision outlined in the adult green
paper, the government has announced, writes Simeon

Care services minister Liam Byrne said social care reform would be
included in the forthcoming white paper on out-of-hospital care as
part of a “new alliance between health and local government”.

He said that parts of the social care agenda would require
legislation but these would be “teased out” during the development
of the white paper and during reflection on responses to the green
paper consultation.

But other aspects of the green paper agenda would be delivered in
parallel to the white paper, Byrne told an adult green paper
conference in London last week.

Pilots to test individual budgets, a joint workforce review with
the Department for Education and Skills, and a task force to tackle
the barriers to greater commissioning from the voluntary sector
will be set up by the end of the year.

The joint approach was welcomed by the Association of Directors of
Social Services.

ADSS president Tony Hunter said: “If we are positive and ambitious,
which we should be, it’s an excellent way forward because it joins
together at national level an agenda that we need to join together
at local level.”

But others fear the social care agenda could be subsumed by health.
Mona Sehgal, programme manager for the Local Government
Association’s community well-being team, said that while a single
white paper would provide opportunities to bring health into the
well-being agenda, “this will only be realised if out-of-hospital
care is embedded into the well-being agenda and not vice

British Association of Social Workers director Ian Johnston said he
had “mixed feelings” about the joint approach.

He said: “On the one hand people with complex requirements deserve
better co-ordinated services. But a significant proportion of
health professionals do not share our commitment to

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