Our flexible friends

Posted on February 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

|Bob Ferguson describes how, in the context of Hampshire¹s new provision programme, the conventional wisdom about the private sector¹s monopoly on responsiveness to change is being challenged| According to some sages, the Thatcher government¹s decision to throw open welfare benefits to care home residents in the early eighties was a covert way of torpedoing the near monopoly of council provision. The preferred option, it is said, was to encourage the intervention of the more acceptable, not to say infinitely more flexible and innovative, private sector. Whatever the great lady¹s true intentions may have been, there can be no doubt that her brief encounter with increased public expenditure resulted in private ownership becoming the entrenched majority in the care home sector. Lately, amid chatter about the creeping privatisation of the health service, the current government stands accused of rolling out Maggie¹s revolution to its natural conclusion. What a surprise, then, to find that, just when public ow

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