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Caring Times Christmas Lunch 2021

09 Dec 2021

The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London

Not a murmur of outrage

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Care providers are understandably annoyed that those in government have intimated that no plans for social care reform will be published before the end of this year, but they will hardly be surprised, given the more than two decades of inaction that have already passed. And few others are making any fuss.

And anyway, care homes have been favoured with an Adult Social Care Winter Plan, which sounds very grand. It comes with a promise of £546 million in hard cash by way of extending the Infection Control Fund, and is perhaps designed to counter any perception that government has been less than attentive to the welfare of frail elderly people of late. The Adult Social Care Winter Plan also comes with a big stick with which to wallop those care homes which will not or cannot comply with an array of new operational restrictions, assuming they can manage to stay in business.

I would be both amazed and distrustful if any comprehensive, detailed plan for social care reform were to be published before the end of this year, or before the end of next year for that matter; amazed because, what with one thing and another thing, the present government has a lot on its plate just at present and, for all the hyperbole we hear about a “broken system” and a “social care crisis”, things keep creaking along without a murmur of outrage from the general population. I’d be distrustful because we have seen so many half-baked schemes run up the flagpole before, and I do not think the present administration has the nous to come up with a credible blueprint.

I don’t like to be negative but the UK seems to be in a negative space at the moment and in respect of adult social care, I think things will have to get quite a lot worse before anything of any moment is done.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

2 Replies to “Not a murmur of outrage”

  1. You’re right to point out that the government “has a lot on its plate” at the moment. But that shouldn’t detract from its ability to get a grip on reforming the funding, organisation and delivery of adult social care. Surely, ministers are capable of carrying more than one thought at a time. Johnson, as a biographer of Churchill, will know that our welfare state was the product of a report commissioned by the government during this country’s darkest days. And it was implemented at a time when Britain wasn’t just on its knees, but flat on its back. So please don’t even hint that Downing Street’s preoccupation with Covid-19 gets it off the hook. It doesn’t.

  2. My sense is that between Covid-19 and Brexit, there simply isn’t the head space at the moment for anyone to pay serious attention to funding social care, so the Infection Control Fund is likely to be as good as it gets. The Social Care Taskforce has just delivered a number of reports, joined onto the Winter Plan, including one that calls for a better-paid workforce with appropriate status and career planning, but the government has been noticeable by its silence so far in terms of responding.

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