A deal of uncertainty


Posted on August 13th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Apart from death, taxes and a messy Brexit we live in a world of uncertainty. In social care we’ve got uncertainty in spades, with the ace being the big curly question mark poised above a green paper on funding which the Government might get around to publishing sometime soon.

Then there’s recruitment: continuing the playing cards image, let’s call that the king.

Next in the honours list is the queen, representing the £400m Sword of Damocles which remains hanging over specialist care providers now that UNISON has appealed to the Supreme Court over payments for sleep-in shifts.

Let’s make health and social care intergration the jack – high on the agenda, but not so high that there’s been any real progress with truly joined-up service provision for the past decade or so.

Then there’s all the other uncertainties around planning consents, occupancy and fill-rates for new build, local authority placements, insurance issues – this is not a game for the faint-hearted. Hold ‘em or fold ‘em?

The joker in the pack is, of course, the Care Quality Commission; an enormously powerful card that doesn’t have to follow any rules other than those it makes up itself; its potential to do so much good effectively countered by its lack of accountability. Anyone got an ace up their sleeve?

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




3 responses to “A deal of uncertainty”

  1. Keith Lewin says:

    Surely the Ace in the pack will be the few care providers who remain trading in each area after the others have been closed by their owners, who see no prospect of trading profitably. Those owners who have closed care homes because of liquidation, and those care homes closed by CQC’s demands that, due to poor payment by public bodies, means that there is no money to make investments in the service, and for which CQC then issues Cancellation Notices.

    And, of course, the above takes no account of the activities of the Competition and Markets Authority.

    The few remaining care homes will be able to ‘name their price’ – however, to reach the end goal deep pockets will be needed and traders who are ultra-nimble and who are able to make the ‘right’ decisions, at the ‘right’ time.

    There will be winners, make sure that one of them is you.

  2. Bob Ferguson says:

    As councils jostle to abase themselves in the local government equivalent of Carey Street, surely we can come up with something more constructive than delivering yet another slap to the sector’s favourite patsy, CQC. The current funding system allows blame to be shunted to and fro, and as it see-saws, people who use services, along with those that provide them, are left stranded helplessly, so many piggies in the middle. That can’t be allowed to continue.

    The upcoming national debate on the future of adult social care will obviously major on how the money can be raised. It must also consider how resources will be managed, crucially, by whom: central or local government – or perhaps the NHS. The house of cards must be demolished before it collapses.

  3. John Burton says:

    Real social care is not a game but the analogy is a fitting one because the “players” (at government, policy, finance, and regulation levels) treat it as one. However they are all playing different games with different motives.
    As I’ve written and spoken many times (without noticeable effect!) social care is upside down. If our politicians and ever-so-clever (but out of touch) policy wonks understood the work they would start at a different place – observing what actually happens and how it is done well – and then everything else would fall into place . . . yes, even the money.


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