Care, columnists and calumny
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
I take a certain wry satisfaction from seeing things appear in the national media which we humble sector specialists have been reporting on for ever such a long time.
Last week, for example, on the Guardian’s website, Bob Hudson decided it was time to tell the world that social care is underfunded. He reminisced about “a public sector golden age” in the 1970s and then bemoaned the subsequent shift to private provision.
He doesn’t say anything about what the care was like in that “golden age”, nor does he explain that Government, at all levels, took the decision to farm-out social care provision to the private sector, seeing it as a cheaper option.
For-profit and not-for-profit providers accepted the challenge and for the past 30-odd years have, by and large, provided ever better care in an ever more hostile regulatory environment and financial climate.
Mr Hudson says “we need to question large private chains founded on risky financial models having any place in the realm of personal care and support where the free market cannot profitably supply the services” again neglecting to explain that private sector involvement was at the express invitation of we, the people, through government.
“Why aren’t we talking more about this?” he asks. Well, one reason is that the national media seems reluctant to give us the full picture on social care, and another is that things will have to get a lot worse before enough people add their voices to make the question loud enough to be heard. And that might be some time coming, because the private care sector has proven itself, (viz. Southern Cross) quite capable of self-rescue from the brink of catastrophe. Pity the same cannot be said of steel makers and car manufacturers.
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