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Release a green paper to address issues of quality of elderly care and variation in practice

Last updated: 03:20pm 24 May 2019

So our forthcoming green paper will also address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.65

Our verdict

In 2018, there were 1.4 million older people in the UK struggling to obtain the care they need to perform essential everyday tasks, such as getting out of bed and eating. Moreover, the demand for elderly care is expected to rise due to an ageing population and budgeting challenges. Older patients are more vulnerable to extended hospital stays, and to the variation in care services offered by different local authorities. The government promised to publish a Green Paper – a consultation document – which will address issues related to the quality and uniformity of elderly care.

After two previous deferrals, in June 2018, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the ‘older people’ Green Paper was due to be published by autumn 2018. That date passed without publication.

In a Commons debate on the NHS Long Term Plan on  7 January 2019, the new Health Secretary, Matt Hancock was asked about the timing of the long-promised social care Green Paper. He replied:

“I certainly intend that to happen before April. My previous commitment was to do it before Christmas, so it is well advanced.”

If we take the Health Secretary at his word, this policy is ‘in progress’. It will be ‘done’ when the social care Green Paper is finally published and we can see that it addresses concerns around care for the elderly. Follow this policy to stay up to date.

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