This paper outlines Mind's analysis and response to the Government Green Paper, Shaping the future of care together. Mind welcomes the publication of the Green Paper and the opportunity to participate in a timely and much-needed debate about the future of social care in England. Overall, Mind warmly welcomes the overall vision in the Green Paper of a National Care Service rooted in prevention, national assessment, personalisation and joined-up services. However, Mind raises concerns that the Green Paper does not address the considerable barriers to accessing care and support which many people with mental health problems face now.
The Green Paper is largely silent on mental health, and only mentions adults with disabilities in passing. This is a glaring omission given the importance of social care services for helping many people with mental health problems to stay well and live independently in the community. The absence of consideration of mental health is emblematic of the wider debate around social care, which has tended to be skewed towards older people. Mind recognises that, due to demographic change, older people are likely to be the fastest growing group of people requiring care and support in the future, with significant cost implications for both individuals and the public purse. Regrettably, these pressures have led to the development of funding models, set out in the Green Paper, which only appear to have been modelled around the needs of older people. The Green Paper leaves many questions unanswered about how the funding options might affect adults of working age with disabilities, particularly fluctuating mental health conditions.