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“Green Papers” Debate on Future Care Funding

There is much talk regarding the future funding of elderly care and for young people with the current “Green Papers” parliament debate.

Confused about the “Green Papers”?  What are “Green Papers”?  Simply a Green Paper is a consultation document issued by the government which contains policy proposals for debate and discussion before a final decision is taken on the best policy option. And yes they are written on green paper.

So how does this affect you in the healthcare industry?

In brief, the green paper is intended to kick-start a debate on how to provide, and pay for, the care and support of the rapidly growing population of older people and the swelling numbers of younger people with disabilities. One aim is to try to stop people having to sell their homes to fund residential care.

A recent report on the Guardian website stated that the  options believed to be in the paper include a social insurance levy on people in work or a means-tested, one-off payment of perhaps £12,000 – ideas that, as speculation, have already sparked criticism in the rightwing press. However, there is concern as the results were to be produced in Spring, but now we are looking at a serious delay to the parliamentary summer recess.

Another excellent source of information related to the “Green Papers”, which will affect anyone involved in healthcare, whether in residential care or even within the home services, such as ‘meals on wheels’; is the Department of Health article “Shaping the Future of Care Together“. This article gives comprehensive details on the consultation that is going through parliament.  The Goverment have a “vision a reality and to develop a care and support system fit for the 21st century”. The consultation will run from 14 July 2009 to 13 November 2009.

However, as with all new policies, laws and legislations there are various views from different parties involved. Merged older people’s charity Age Concern and Help the Aged said it was also concerned about the plans to “abolish a benefit that helps older people meet the cost of dealing with disability (Attendance Allowance) simply to prop up the system as it is today”.

Parkinson’s Disease Society ‘alarmed’. The Parkinson’s Disease Society said it welcomed the move to establish a national needs assessment, but chief executive Steve Ford said it was “alarmed” about the Attendance Allowance plan, adding: “We know how important this benefit is to maintaining the independence of people with Parkinson’s, and it’s vital that they do not miss out on this with the new system.”

Disability charities Scope and Leonard Cheshire Disability also questioned how far disabled people currently excluded from publicly-funded care by council-set eligibility criteria would be helped by the proposals

All of the above quotes, alongside many other charities for the disabled and elderly views were on the uhad2bethere disability information site under the article entitled Adult Attendance Allowance Plans Sparks Concern

Further feedback from the same site come offers comments from Mike Smith, chair of the National Centre for Independent Living said: “Disabled and older people were hoping for leadership from the government in care reform. This has come now in a new vision for how we support individuals to become full and equal citizens. But the green paper provides few concrete plans. Instead, it is an options paper, requiring further debate and development before any reforms can be implemented.”

We warmly invite you to register on the BCP information source to ensure you are kept up to date with the “Green Papers” as they go through Parliament.  Also we offer regular information related to new laws and legislations vital to any professional in the residential and health care sector. Thank you

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