Respect is at heart of new care system

Last week we announced the most radical reform of the social care system since 1948. In a nutshell, the draft Care and Support Bill consolidates lots of different laws to create a single – modern – statute for the support and care of adults.

The draft Bill was accompanied by the Care and Support White Paper in which my colleague, Andrew Lansley, lays out exactly how the social care system will move from being reactive - responding to crises as they occur – to one that is focused on preventing people getting to that point in the first place. We’ll be putting an extra £7.2bn into social care as a result of these changes, which will make a real difference to many people’s daily lives.

The new system will be built around the needs of the individual and changes include:

Ruling out ‘contracting by the minute’ that turns care workers into clock watchers .

Treating people with dignity and respect – putting those concepts at the heart of the system.

Making access to care consistent throughout the country – care won’t be interrupted if people move to a different area.

Giving people control over their own care – including a clear and accessible way to report bad treatment. An extra £200m will be put into the supported housing market, enabling people to live independently for as long as possible.

Giving carers new rights to public support – for the first time their rights will be placed on the same legal footing as the people they look after. Making an extra £3.8m available so veterans will no longer have to use their injury compensation to fund their care.

Ensuring disabled people who live in a care home will no longer have to give up their wages to pay for their care.

On a different matter – but still health-related – I thought I’d bring readers’ attention to this year’s Games4Life campaign. As the name suggests, the Department of Health is using the excitement surrounding the Olympic Games to encourage people to increase their activity levels and get sporty.

Interestingly, children between the ages of two and four need 180 active minutes a day; five and older need at least 60 minutes a day and adults need at least 150 minutes each week.

With our hectic lives it’s not always easy to cram the minutes in but Games4Life will help by creating free personalised plans to give anyone inspiration. All you need to do is fill in a questionnaire at nhs.uk/games4life. The site also contains useful information for families and individuals (parents could find this site invaluable during the long summer holidays!).