Intended for healthcare professionals


The future of social care in England

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 01 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3384
  1. Christina R Victor, professor of gerontology and health services research
  1. 1School of Health and Social Care, University of Reading, Reading RG6 1HY
  1. c.r.victor{at}

    A national service that aims to reduce variability in access and availability

    The green paper on the future of social care for adults was published on 14 July 2009.1 The purpose of Shaping the Future of Care Together is to debate the options for the future funding of social care and support for two key groups of vulnerable adults: older people and younger people with disabilities. In both groups the numbers in need of care are substantial and predicted to increase.1 About 2.45 million older people have some social care needs,2 and 1.2 million receive some publicly provided social care services.3

    At the heart of the debate is the distinction, enshrined in the initial structure of the post war welfare state, between healthcare needs and social care needs and how these should be met. Health needs are the province of the NHS, funded mainly from general taxation within the …

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