Inconstant gardeners

Posted on February 18th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on Inconstant gardeners

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last Saturday was fine and dry so I managed to put in a few hours on our allotment. Not before time; my dug-over fallow patches are already showing a patina of green as the first weeds awaken from their winter sleep.

With secateurs in leather-gloved hand I contemplated the prickly thicket that I hoped to reform into a well-groomed row of gooseberry bushes and that got me thinking about the Green Paper consultation promised for this coming summer, and the thorny issue of social care funding.

“Well, I wouldn’t start from here if I had the choice,” thought I, thinking about the reform of both gooseberries and government policy. This was followed by “we are where we are” and so to the snipping. I think it is important that those who are closely involved with the provision of social care take the time to respond to the Green Paper consultation when it is announced. Here’s what I think I might say:

The self-pay market is working for the self-payers and has enabled the development of some truly marvellous care models, with better training, career paths and esteem for staff. These models set an aspirational goal so means-tested social care should remain as a fruitful bough.

Health and Social Care integration is not necessarily a Good Thing; certainly, let’s have joined-up services but it would be anxiety-provoking, to say the least, to bond the fiscal fortunes of social care with those of the NHS – snip.

Next, more public money must be allocated to fund public provision because many of us now, and probably more of us in the future, are going to fall below the self-pay threshold. A hypothecated tax, discounted against private insurance contributions, is the equitable solution and indeed, recent polls suggest that most people recognise and accept this. It’s not a hard sell but government’s evident reluctance to go down this road is illustrative of how craven and self-serving our politicians have become. Inconstant gardeners all – snip, snip, snip.

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

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