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A chance to fix the 'broken care' system

An extra 1.4 million people will need care and support in England in the next 20 years. Yet according to findings of the Coalition Government’s Caring for our Future: Reforming Care and Support review in 2012, the current system is not fit-for-purpose. Published in the summer of 2012, it painted a troubling picture of people in need of care too often let down by varied and confusing services; crisis-driven systems; a lack of information and poor support for carers. In short, it warned, the system of care and support is “broken and in desperate need for reform”.

The Care Bill represents a bold attempt to fix this by reforming 60-year-old social care legislation recently described by former Coalition Government Minister of State for Care Services Paul Burstow as a “dog’s breakfast”.

A new wellbeing principle is at the heart of the Bill, as is an intention to give individuals greater control so they “no longer feel like they are battling against the system to get the care and support they need”.

But will the reality live up to the rhetoric? And what will the Bill mean for social workers?