Government to set out long-term vision for social care

The government plans to unveil its long-anticipated plans to reform social care tomorrow, ITV News understands.

It will promise to transform housing and invest in technology, such as monitors and alarms, to help people to stay in their own homes for longer.

The plans will form part of a white paper - the foundations for a bill - which runs to around 100 pages.

The government has already promised to cap care costs at £86,000 to prevent people from having to sell their own homes to pay for care.

But long-term challenges around an ageing population and increasingly complex care needs mean broader reform of the sector has long been required.

Those who've read the white paper say it contains the right ambition, but with little detail on how it will be delivered.

I understand it'll be presented in Parliament tomorrow by the Social Care Minister, Gillian Keegan, rather than the Secretary of State Sajid Javid, suggesting that even the government doesn't view this as a watershed moment.

One source in the care sector told me the document is "largely aspirational - the challenge is how it'll be implemented."

More specifically, there is concern that the plans do little to address the immediate pressures on social care, particularly the unprecedented staffing shortage that ITV News revealed earlier in the summer.

The white paper repeats a promise to invest £500 million in the care workforce, but that equates to just £111 per worker per year, which one care manager described to me as "the biggest joke ever".

The government is also expected to outline plans to help unpaid carers - family members and others who look after someone they know.

However, the bigger reforms are likely to come in a separate white paper looking at how to integrate health and social care, which the government is still working on.

The question is whether the care sector can hold out that long. The staffing crisis is leading providers to hand back contracts, with thousands of people waiting for care as a result.

Tomorrow's plans promise a futuristic vision of care, but do little to address the challenges of today.