Big Care Debate

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On the 14th July 2009 the Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, announced the publication of the Care and Support Green Paper. The Green Paper sets out a vision to build the first National Care Service in England. One that is fair, simple and affordable for everyone.

When the current care system was designed in 1948, life expectancy was 66 for men and 71 for women. Today it is 77 for men and 82 for women – and it is still rising. With an ageing society the demand for services is increasing, for the first time ever there are more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 18. In 20 years, it is expected that over 1.7 million more adults will have a need for care and support each year.

The Green Paper lays out the overall direction and a series of choices for the reform of the care and support system, so that care is high quality and cost-effective and people have choice and control over the care they receive.

The publication is the start of a Big Care Debate which asks for everyone’s views on some difficult choices that need to be made for this vision to become a reality. The proposals in this Green Paper are some of the most fundamental reforms ever in this area.

Key Measures
The National Care Service will create a level playing field and end the postcode lottery of care services. Everyone in England will be guaranteed:

Prevention services - the right support to stay independent and well for as long as possible and to delay care needs getting worse;

National assessment - care needs will be assessed in the same way across England;

Joined up services - all the services will work together smoothly;

Information and advice – the care system will be easy to understand and navigate;

Personalised care and support - services will be based on personal circumstances and need;

Fair funding - money will be spent wisely and everyone will get some help meeting the cost of high care needs.

Rosie Winterton MP for Doncaster Central
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