General Election & Social Care

Ed Davey's clip about caring for his son and previously his late mother was moving, genuine and quite humbling. This is a leader with first hand experience, a better sense of what matters than seemingly many and contributes with kindness, depth and positivity. He really knows what it's like and it's tough.

Manifestos - we have been waiting for for the full release of all the parties' manifestos. Although 'goodies' have been drip fed.

The Conservative's Mark Harper told us last night, 'as the public finances are in better order', there has been space 'to make tax cuts'. But no money to support crumbling essential public services, health, social care, education, infrastructure etc etc.

The disconnection with the harsh reality of the state of critical, basic services and contempt to those who are in need of them is quite extraordinary.

The Conservatives have said nothing on social care or that much else it seems (historically, I am a conservative).

Labour do not seem willing to change much or commit to many specifics either.  

There is talk of fairer wages for carers (?), increasing/improving consistency of care provision, but the National Care Service ambitions are on the back burner.

The Lib Dems are committing to NLW + £2 (which is pretty modest for the scale of the intellectual, emotional and physical contribution the care workforce make). Training and regulation has already intensified (rightly), the support needed for the elderly e.g. with advanced dementia, mental health concerns, complex nursing concerns (my primary concerns) require more advanced emotional skills that many of us do not have.

They are also advocating a Royal College of Social Care, which on the face of it could be progressive.

They also promote free care at home. The massive problem here is that it seriously discriminates against those who need the most intense, skilled and complex care in 24/7 establishments. This is a fundamental omission that wreaks of ageism and prejudice for those who need highly specialist help. These are a group that have been long neglected in public funding, whilst private funders are offered hotel style facilities (chalk vs cheese or minimalistic vs hotel luxury). Surely all should be entitled to a high quality of life through the most challenging chapter in life, in environments that put quality of life and loving companionship in equal measure to highly skilled care (or the hotel).

The Greens are bolder on tax reform and seek to put an extra £30bn in health and £20bn in social care.

The dichotomy of thinking is vast. Yet our bizarre first past the post system will likely mean the options are still dire.

Posted by Michaela on June 11th 2024

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