An early bird in the hand is worth two in the mulberry bush


Posted on January 11th, by geoff in CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

When I read about Norman Lamb’s call for an independent commission to examine the future of the NHS and social care systems, I checked my calender; no, we were still in January – I had thought for a moment we had fast-forwarded to April 1st.

Perhaps we have here the essential difference between a politician and a statesman; politicians are good at talking (we all know that) but statesmen also have some facility for doing. At present, Westminster is full of politicians.

When I read about the possibility of yet another commission, it got my dander (never far beneath my serene surface of urbane unruffledness) up. What are we looking at? The usual panel of luminaries who will spend months gathering ‘evidence’, and then more months cobbling together something they can all agree on and then, perhaps 18 months down the track, they’ll make their recommendations. Then there’ll be another three months while the Government ponders . . . and then the Treasury will say, as it has said so many times before, ‘sorry, no can do’.

And so we go round the mulberry bush. In the meantime bed numbers in the sector will have shrunk and thousands of frail elderly people, who could have been helped, won’t have been. Is there a statesman in the House?

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




2 responses to “An early bird in the hand is worth two in the mulberry bush”

  1. Agreed, and it’s not like we haven’t already had the Barker Review, which covered the subject pretty much exhaustively. We know what to do, but we also know it involves money, hence the dancing around handbags whilst, as you point out, many older people or people with disabilities suffer.

  2. Jon Chapman says:

    Stephen Dorrell was interviewed by Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics Show and, whilst discussing the junior doctors’ dispute, talked sensibly about the need to coordinate the health and social care systems. Politicians often become statesmen when their views are no longer shackled by ambition within their party so perhaps he is someone who might be worthy of support. That said, the social care lobbyists do need to work with, rather than against, their health counterparts to ensure the scarce money is spent efficiently across both aspects.


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