Not wishing to seem ungrateful, but . . .
The great and the good have comprehensively welcomed the extra £2bn over three years of our money which the Government has committed to fund the social care needs of those who lack the means to pay for it themselves.
It would have been churlish and mean-spirited to dismiss the Chancellor’s announcement as nothing more than the bare minimum the Government can do in order to avoid significant long term damage, if not the general collapse of the publicly-funded social care system, and the equally significant knock-on effects on the beleaguered NHS.
But I do wonder at the absence of any howls of protest at the insult implicit in the promise of yet another ‘green paper’ on a long term solution to social care funding. I see no evidence that this one will have any more legs than its predecessors – a Royal Commission, green papers, white papers, Wanless, Dilnot and Barker reports – called into being by governments to feed an illusion that they intend to do something.
This latest stop-gap funding makes it clear to me that significant reform of social care funding will remain forever beyond our reach, and that the best we can hope for is a gradual undirected evolution which, for some years to come, when change happens only when circumstances become dire. This bumping along the bottom will leave many older people without the care and support which they could reasonably expect from a relatively wealthy economy such as that of the UK.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.