In October 2007, the comprehensive spending review contained a commitment that the Government would undertake work to look at reform options for the care and support system and consult on a way forward. It also stated that the Government would set out a process involving extensive public engagement, ultimately leading to a Green Paper identifying key issues and options for reform.
Today we are launching a six month engagement process with the public and all those involved in care and support for adults to set out clearly the case for reform, and to consult on a number of questions. This is set out in the document "The Case for Change—Why England Needs a New Care and Support System", which is being published today to mark the beginning of this engagement process. The responses to these questions will inform the development of a number of reform options, to be set out in the Green paper.
This process, although led by the Department of Health, involves work across a number of other Government Departments, reflecting the fact that care and support encompasses many different types of services and assistance. Ensuring effective and sustainable care and support in a society where people are living longer is one of the major public policy challenges of our time. This engagement process is an opportunity for the public to help shape a response to this challenge.
A copy of the document has been placed in the Library, and copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office.