By guest blogger JEF SMITH
Reactions to the latest proposed review of social care funding have ranged from cautious welcome to resigned cynicism. What, several commentators have tiredly enquired, can this new look at a difficult but already thoroughly rehearsed issue actually achieve? The answer surely lies in how the central question is posed.
If we ask simply how can social care be funded, all the old objections resurface, notably the big bill. Eventually a report will be produced and in all probability after a brief debate timid politicians will again banish the issue to the back burner or the long grass, depending on your cliché preference. If on the other hand, the facts that something has to be done and that whatever happens will cost a lot are stated as givens, the question then to be put to the public is … Read More »
By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON
Although post-Budget celebrations have been understandably muted, social care providers might derive some consolation from the Chancellor’s sub-text. The improvement measures planned for councils that struggle to reduce delayed transfers of care (DTOC) could offer wider-ranging potential.
Given the impracticability of isolating issues around DTOC from general commissioning practice, the likely ripple effects of external intervention could constitute the thick end of a regulatory wedge – especially if implemented by CQC. Providers have long been frustrated by local authorities’ in-house replacement for independent oversight of commissioning: LGA’s buddy scheme in which performance is assessed at mates’ rates. Now Whitehall also seems to have become exasperated.
At the request of the Department of Health, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has directed councils towards the straight and narrow with an idiot’s guide to providers’ costs*. This, remember, … Read More »
By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON
The great and the good have comprehensively welcomed the extra £2bn over three years of our money which the Government has committed to fund the social care needs of those who lack the means to pay for it themselves.
It would have been churlish and mean-spirited to dismiss the Chancellor’s announcement as nothing more than the bare minimum the Government can do in order to avoid significant long term damage, if not the general collapse of the publicly-funded social care system, and the equally significant knock-on effects on the beleaguered NHS.
But I do wonder at the absence of any howls of protest at the insult implicit in the promise of yet another ‘green paper’ on a long term solution to social care funding. I see no evidence that this one will have any more legs … Read More »