Ten-week deadline urged for social care green paper

Council leaders have said that the new Prime Minister must publish the long-awaited adult social care green paper before Parliament goes into recess in September.

The Local Government Association is making the call at its Annual Conference in Bournemouth as it launches a publication marking one year on from its own green paper on the future of adult social care. In the past 12 months, the government has delayed its version three times and it is now more than two-and-a-half years since it first committed to producing one.

Adult social care faces a £3.6 billion funding gap by 2025. The LGA says that the government needs to use the Spending Review to secure the immediate future of the social care system until a long-term, sustainable solution is found.

Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: "More than 12 months has passed since the government announced yet another delay to the publication of its social care green paper. Those who rely on vital care and support cannot wait any longer. Our adult social care system is creaking under increasing pressure which impacts everyone with care and support needs, preventing them from living their lives to the full. It also has consequences for all those involved in adult social care including providers, the workforce and the NHS.

“Councils are having to make incredibly difficult decisions within tightening budgets and cannot be expected to continue relying on one-off funding injections to keep services going. What is needed is funding certainty for both the immediate and long-term.

“That is why the government needs to commit to meeting our 10-week deadline, before the party conferences start, to finally publish its much-delayed and long-awaited green paper outlining what the future funding options and possible solutions to this crisis are. Local government stands ready to host cross-party talks to kick-start this process and make sure we get the answers and certainty we need, so that people can continue to receive essential care and support.”