The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that the expected Social Care Green Paper has been delayed until the New Year.
A DHSC source told CHP that the Green Paper, which was due to be published before Christmas, will now be published at the “earliest opportunity” in the New Year.
The news comes as the Government continues to be consumed with the political fall-out from Brexit with Prime Minister Theresa May last night surviving a no confidence vote.
The news of the latest delay was greeted with weary resignation by social care leaders.
Martin Green, CEO of Care England, told CHP: “The news that the Green Paper is to be further delayed is not surprising given the amount of political turmoil engulfing the country. What is important is that when the Green Paper is finally delivered it gives us a clear route map to a long-term and sustainable funding settlement for social car.”
Nadra Ahmed, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association, said the news was not unexpected adding the Green Paper was not being given the attention it warranted.
“Sadly, the delay will only heighten the belief that social care remains an afterthought, despite the fact that it is a crucial part of the support option available to some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” Nadra said.
“Until and unless government addresses the reality of the crisis faced by social care, platitudes of its importance will fall on deaf ears.”
HC-One and Court Cavendish founder Chai Patel told CHP that the further delay was “most unfortunate” and did not help the already challenging environment for the sector.
Chai added: “The winter funding was more to protect the NHS than find a long term solution for social care. “
The HC-One Chairman said expectations were not high for the Green Paper when it finally arrived and further progress could be hampered in the event of a change of Government, given the climate of political turmoil.
Anchor Hanover CEO Jane Ashcroft said the news was “deeply worrying”, adding: “Successive governments have failed to address the social care crisis, and the country’s older people have once again been let down.
“While the Government’s focus is understandably on Brexit, this simply cannot mean that really important domestic issues, such as the social care crisis, continue to be neglected and left by the wayside.”
Anchor Hanover’s research shows just 14% of people are currently saving for care needs, and 25% mistakenly think that all care is state-funded.