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Government announces proposals for social care

Published on 21 November 2017

Social care worker with a ladyOn 16 November 2017, the Government announced that it will publish a green paper on social care and support by summer 2018.

Good quality, accessible social care is vital for many people living with arthritis. We know that, when done well, it can mean people live fuller and more independent lives. It can also provide those affected by arthritis with much-needed aids and adaptations to support their daily living.

Currently, the social care system is letting people down, and must be improved. As members of the Care and Support Alliance (CSA), we have been campaigning for the Government to put the social care system on a sustainable footing and ensure that everyone has access to the support they need. Ahead of the 2017 election, the Government committed to publishing a green paper, which is a document containing policy proposals for people to comment on.

A green paper is a step towards ensuring the system sees significant improvement. We have been calling on the Government to produce its promised green paper as soon as possible. To support this activity, we promoted a new CSA petition. In just seven days last week, over 10,000 people signed this. Thanks to all our supporters who took the time to add their voice!

A positive step

This announcement certainly marks a positive step forward, though we are disappointed that the green paper will not be released sooner. We are also deeply concerned that the green paper will focus primarily on older people. Katherine Stevenson, Arthritis Research UK’s Policy Officer with responsibility for social care, commented: “The Government has specified that this piece of work will focus on older people, with a separate workstream looking at the needs of disabled adults. If this happens, the Government risks further complicating a system which many already find confusing and inaccessible. Arthritis affects people of all ages, with many children, young people, and those of working age living with the condition. We want people with arthritis, regardless of age, to know what they are entitled to, and be able to access the support they need simply and efficiently.”

Arthritis Research UK will continue to call for the Government to address the numerous problems with the social care system, and when the green paper is released, we will provide a thorough response, based on the needs of people with arthritis.

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