A year in the shadow of wider issues
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
What does the coming year have in store for the care sector? There is one certainty – the average age of the UK population will continue to creep upwards, with a corresponding increase in demand for social care services.
Then there are a number of ‘almost certainties’, probably the most significant of which is that the increased demand will fuel investment to fund the building of new care homes, particularly so as operators of old, smaller care homes decide they can no longer make the numbers stack up. Because another almost certainty is that local authorities will find they have to trim their social care budgets still further, and today’s private-pay residents will want something more than a Victorian conversion.
There is also a major unlikelihood that social care issues will figure significantly in the debates and promises in the lead-up to the general election. Whether by design or accident, the Care Act will have only recently come into play and the incumbent administration will be able to say “look at what we have done to address social care issues” without having to address any unintended consequences. Labour and the other aspirant parties will be at the disadvantage of not being able to evaluate the impact of the new legislation and so cogently criticise it and propound alternative policies.
And so, against the wider issues of deficit reduction, Europe, immigration and devolution, I think social care will be taking a back seat in 2015.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.