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Reforming the law for adult care and support: the Government’s response to Law Commission report 326 on adult social care

Care and support law is opaque, complex and outdated. Over the past 60 years, a patchwork of legislation has evolved, but without fundamental reform. There are now around 30 different Acts of Parliament which relate to adult care and support, with the base statute still the 1948 National Assistance Act. The net result is confusion – for those providing services, for those who use services and for the public.

It was against this backdrop that the Law Commission conducted its three-year review into adult social care law, undertaking extensive consultation and culminating in its final report published in May 2011,1 which made recommendations for a wholesale reform of the law.

The Government warmly welcomed the Law Commission’s report on its publication, and over the past year, we have been considering their proposals in detail as part of our wider reform agenda for care and support. As the White Paper Caring for our future makes clear, law reform is not just a lever for implementing the Government’s ambitions for care and support, but is a significant policy goal in its own right.