Government appears content to leave it to the experts

Posted on July 4th, by geoff in CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

I attended a round table discussion last week. These events can be really useful as they often bring together care home operators, commissioners, banks, lawyers, and others who share their experiences and assessments, telling it like it is under Chatham House rules.

Last week’s event was particularly illuminating, as a senior local authority figure recounted how, at a recent meeting at Westminster, senior public servants from the Department of Health candidly admitted that they were finding health and social care integration too difficult to take forward. At a similar meeting in Westminster, this local authority officer was told by a senior government politician that the Government had no answer to the social care funding problem. Half an hour later he was told the same thing by a senior member of the opposition.

Well, no surprises there, but it’s satisfying to have one’s hunches confirmed, even though it brings no joy.

The local authority speaker further confirmed what is already apparent to most of us – that social care isn’t “sexy”; that politicians see little mileage in picking up this particular ball when compared to health, pensions, housing or employment.

So here is an ongoing opportunity for providers and commissioners to build an efficient system of social care delivery, in the absence of government interference for as long as it continues to demur from its responsibilities. In their efforts to meet their statutory obligations while beset with budgetary constraint, local authorities are coming to the realisation that they need to work more co-operatively with the private sector.

The one remaining sticking point is a maverick regulator whose paternalistic “we know best’ attitude and capricious propensity to change the rules at will is, in many cases, actively inhibiting best practise.

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

One response to “Government appears content to leave it to the experts”

  1. There’s something to be said for being left to get on with things out of the public eye – as many NHS services would attest. But it also means, I think, that we have to find an alternative narrative to ‘there isn’t enough money in social care’ – there isn’t ,we know that, but if social care is ever going to grab politicians’ attention again, I suspect it will be because we demonstrate the quality of what we do, and we can evidence the value – in qualitative and quantitative terms – that this brings.

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