The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


View your shopping cart.

Green paper for social care in England published

15 July 2009 - 4:40pm

The government has outlined how it intends to head off a crisis in elderly care funding with a range of proposals that would see many people paying more towards costs.

Health minister Andy Burnham published the green paper for England, Shaping the Future of Care Together, yesterday.

He pledged radical reform of the current ‘unfair’ system and a national care service under which ‘everyone will get some care for free’ in retirement.

Three proposals for funding the service

Option one is a ‘partnership’ under which a person’s care costs would be shared with the government. The government would pay between a quarter and a third of the cost of care or more for people on low incomes.

Under a second option, people could choose to take out insurance of around £20,000 to £25,000 to cover their share of care costs beyond the proportion of up to a third met by the government.

A third model is designed to offer ‘comprehensive’ care free to all who need it. This would mean all who can afford it paying between £17,000 and £20,000 into a compulsory state insurance scheme.

Big Care Debate

The government is consulting on the proposals. People will have until mid November to submit views to the so-called Big Care Debate.

Mr Burnham said more people, including those with disability, were living longer.

He said: ‘This is worth celebrating but does mean we need to radically change the way care is provided and paid for.’

Under the changes, there would be national assessment - care needs would be assessed and paid for in the same way across the country.

Integration of services

Ministers say services would be integrated more smoothly and based on personal circumstances and need.

Mr Burnham said it was wrong that some people now had to pay tens of thousands of pounds or sell their house to pay for care in old age, while others received care free.

According to the green paper there will be 1.7 million more adults who will need care and support by 2026.

Opportunity for physiotherapy

CSP head of public affairs and policy development Gary Robjent told Frontline: 'Without reform to the system, even a 2 per cent real terms increase year on year, by 2026 around 50 per cent of people in the lowest socioeconomic groups with critical or substantial needs would receive no state support.

'The government has recognised the implications of not addressing social care for the health of individuals, the population and the health service as a whole.  It is another opportunity for physiotherapy and other AHP services to demonstrate their role in education/prevention and as integrators of care - not just within a clinical context.'

From the green paper

  •  Life expectancy today is 78 - up from 66 in 1948
  •  Today’s 65 year-olds will need care costing an average £30,000
  • 20 per cent of people will need care costing more than £50,000
  • By 2050, there will be just two people of working age for every person retired, compared with four now - a 50 per cent fall
  • For the first time there are more people over 65 than under 18

Shaping the Future of Care Together


Comments are visible to CSP members only.

Please Login to read comments and to add your own or register if you have not yet done so.

  • Anonymous

More from the CSP

Back to top