Last month the Department of Health announced that it intended to ‘co-produce’ the proposed social care reform white paper. This month, on the 15th of September it has launched an ‘engagement’, entitled ‘Caring for our future; shared ambitions for care and support’ which is intended as the first step toward making good on this commitment.
The content of the engagement reveals that the scope of reform is meant to go well beyond responding to the proposals of the Dilnot Commission on long term care funding or the Law Commission review of adult social care law. However the government does ask for people’s views on the recommendations of the Law Commission and the Dilnot Commission ‘and on ‘how we should assess these proposals, including in relation to other potential priorities for improvement’. So the DH is still thinking about the extent to which they intend to implement the proposals of the two commissions.
The engagement focuses on six key areas. These are;
- quality – including improving quality and developing the future workforce;
- personalisation – giving people more choice and control and helping them to make informed decisions;
- shaping local care services in order to ensure a wide range of innovative and responsive services;
- prevention and early intervention;
- integration, in particular better connections between the NHS and local services; and
- the role of financial services.
The engagement runs for three months. There will be a series of events and meetings which will be attended by six ‘discussion leaders’ drawn from the ‘care and support community’ – one for each of the six key areas. The discussion leaders come from a variety of backgrounds representing service providers, local authorities and the NHS. Jeremy Hughes from the Alzheimer’s Society and Imelda Redmond from Carers UK represent service users and carers. There will also be a web based feedback form that people can use to respond directly. This can be found at www.caringforourfuture.dh.gov.uk. Written comments must be sent to the Department of Health by December 2nd.