The elephant in the system

Posted on January 2nd, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. Comments Off on The elephant in the system

By guest blogger JOHN BURTON

Amidst the – fully justified – fuss about the underfunding of social care, there’s a galumphing great rogue elephant that sucks the variety and spice of life out of care, and it has to be fed huge quantities of paperwork to prevent it from stamping on you.

This elephant is very expensive to keep, and, as you know, it’s a white elephant. It’s slow and ponderous but it’s grown too big and too powerful to control. Most of its keepers regret the day they allowed the baby pachyderm, so cute and decorative at the time, into the system in the first place.

Now that it is big, it completely dominates the care system that revolves around it. If we had had the foresight and courage to stand together and refuse entry to this behemoth, and to insist that we had little, local watchdogs, we could have avoided this expensive mistake.

While the social care system is starved of resources and there is less care to go around, Dumbo must still be fed. Indeed, now the prime objective of thousands of social care providers is placating the great beast. £millions are squandered on advising, assessing, instructing and drilling in how to please the social care elephant and avoid being trampled under its feet.

Of course more money for social care is to be welcomed, but it only postpones the day when we must face up to the folly of running a service around the regulator instead of running it solely to give good care to the people who depend on it. That would allow the best to lead the way.

We do have plenty of superb care professionals and providers who do know how to do it, and we have many more thousands of people – both giving care and receiving it – ready to follow their lead.

  • 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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