Health Select Committee and Local Government Association social care reform recommendations

The engagement exercise for social care reform finished in December 2011 and the government published the resulting Caring For Our Future white paper (originally promised in the spring) in July 2012. In the interim, the Health Select Committee and the Local Government Association published independent analysis of the existing social care system and recommendations for reform.

Health Select Committee report

On 8 February 2012, the Health Select Committee published a report on health and social care. The committee chair, Stephen Dorrell, suggested that older people 'were being let down by fragmented services'.

The committee believed that there was a link between disjointed service provision and the range of different commissioners and funding streams for services. The committee also found that financial pressures were diminishing the quality of services for older people and, correspondingly, their quality of life, which in turn resulted in greater pressure on NHS services.

The committee were critical of the lack of alignment between the NHS, public health and social care outcomes frameworks, and were 'concerned that the government merely hopes that national alignment will cascade down to local level'. They recommended that the government should adopt a single outcomes framework for elderly people, covering both health and social care.

On funding reform, the committee recommended that the government should accept Dilnot's recommendations on capping care costs.

Local Government Association guide

On 14 March 2012, the Local Government Association (LGA) detailed its vision of a reformed adult social care system, ahead of the government's white paper on social care reform.

Ripe for reform set out the four main aims of a workable care and support system it hoped the white paper would capture:

  • the improvement of individuals' experiences that was required
  • the need for a stable, predictable, transparent and sustainable system
  • the provision of sufficient funding for a reformed system
  • the need for a system that draws on local resources and talent.

Health Select Committee.
Health Select Committee report on health and social care (14th report of session 2010-2012).
House of Commons; 2012.

Local Government Association.
Ripe for reform.
Local Government Association; 2012.