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Government launches debate on care and support services

12th May 2008

The Department of Health (DoH) has announced the launch of an intensive six-month debate regarding the future shape of care and support services available on the NHS.

It notes that a quarter of the adult population will be over 65 in two decades, while the number of over-85s will have doubled, putting pressure on services and the financial support received through benefits.

The DoH is consulting on a new system that promotes independence, choice and control, ensures access to high quality care and support targeted at those with most need, while being affordable in the long term for individuals, families and the government.

Alan Johnson, health secretary, said: “Society is going through huge change – care and support must adapt to meet the challenges this will bring because the current system is simply not sustainable in the long term.

“There is no option of a quick fix.”

He added that a 31 million pound government programme would test the potential of new technologies such as telecare to support care for those with complex needs.

Last week, care services minister Ivan Lewis announced a new social enterprise scheme to help enhance local services.

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