Disability Benefits for the Elderly

Part of Opposition Day — [1st allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 4:06 pm on 8th December 2009.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham The Secretary of State for Health 4:06 pm, 8th December 2009

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. That point came out strongly last week when the social work taskforce reported its conclusions. It pointed out the need to raise the status of social work as a profession and talk up the changes it makes in helping people to live better lives and give them more opportunities. The point was also well made by my hon. Friend, and we have to work hard to make it a reality. Everything in our Green Paper depends on those professional voices in social work. Helping people to unlock the benefits of personalisation and steering them through the system is crucially dependent on a motivated social work profession in adult services. Young people today want to make a difference. One of the biggest differences they can make is to go into social work, be it for children or adults. On both sides of the House, we need to work hard to communicate that message very strongly indeed.

Our Green Paper set out a vision of a national care service that is fairer, simpler and more affordable, underpinned by national rights and entitlements and personalised to individual needs. It set out a system with quality at its heart, whereby people get the care and support that they need. People would know exactly what to expect, what they were entitled to and what they needed to do to get it. The national care service is about helping people to live their lives the way that they want to. It is about putting the person's needs and wishes first, and helping them to keep up relationships with family and friends, to live in their own home for as long as they can and, where possible, to continue to work and contribute to their community.

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