Government playing generation game on funding
By guest blogger BOB FERGUSON
The similarities are striking: a broken system, cross-subsidy by private payers, providers on the brink of meltdown. No, it’s not an encore from the bleating care home band, it’s their colleagues in childcare. However, here’s the thing: the upshot of all their wailing and gnashing of teeth has proved to be radically different. The Government will not only review funding levels; it has invited them to the party.
After a lifetime spent playing second fiddle to the NHS, care home owners’ well-developed martyr complex will not have been improved by this commitment. Churlish they are not, of course – perish the thought – but they are entitled to feel a trifle piqued. Whatever happened to the conventional wisdom that older people always get the cream? That preferential treatment has not been extended into their social care is a puzzle. No point trying to second-guess politicians’ priorities, though. That way madness lies.
Nevertheless, there are questions to be asked. When both sectors are clearly ailing, how come adult care has to settle for a paracetamol while childcare gets open-heart surgery? Have home owners’ associations missed a trick? Could they possibly learn from the “success” of their childcare counterparts? If the latter are true to the habits of their calling they will never be completely satisfied, but they have managed to convince Whitehall to loosen the purse strings. So, how on earth did they do it?
One thing is immediately obvious: their claims were supported by research that drew on responses from – check this out – almost 2,500 providers. That’s one helluva sample, a number that home owners – whose own efforts tend to be measured by varying degrees of pathetic – can only dream of, and then probably not without some chemical assistance.
Are childcare providers more engaged, or less apathetic, than their peers in adult care? Perhaps their associations are better focused? Or is one a function of the other? These are not rhetorical questions. I really want to know. And so should they.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.