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December has only just begun, but it already feels that there may be a winter of discontent in social care. The promise of relief has not materialised, as no new money was laid out in the budget. While a £2bn cash injection was welcome last year, recent research has shown it’s far too little to plug the gap.

The response to the latest announcement on the care and support green paper has been, at best, muted. More has been said about what it doesn’t cover – young adults and carers – than what it does. Then there is the daily battle against delayed transfers of care – a fight that could turn challenging if we have a bad flu outbreak.

There is, I think, a shard of light penetrating through the gloom; this statement from the first secretary of state, Damian Green, about the green paper:

“Our vision for care must also incorporate the wider networks of support and services which help older people to live independently, including the crucial role of housing and the interaction with other public services.”

It’s loaded with promise if we make the case that this suggests a way forward. It offers hope for a number of reasons.

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source: The Guardian
published: 1 December 2017