By Debbie le Quesne

Hunt’s fine words on commitment to elderly, but no mention of cash

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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that care for the elderly was his “biggest priority” in his Conservative party conference speech.

In the speech on Tuesday, he said: “This year for the first time there are more pensioners than children. So looking to the future, our biggest priority must be to transform what we offer to meet the challenge of an ageing population.”

So far, so good, but excuse me please if I have some doubts.

On the LGC website he is reported as saying he aimed to “transform the way the health and social care system looks after older people,” adding that this was not just about addressing conditions such as dementia, but also improving “the way we care for people.”

While all of this is welcome, Mr Hunt, I have to ask – given that you are so committed to care for the elderly – why was predecessor Andrew Lansley unable to find a way of funding the Dilnot proposals?

Surprisingly, Mr Hunt did not give any details about how he would reform care, or how it would be funded.

In his speech the health secretary also said he had asked his department and the Care Quality Commission to find a way to make sure NHS and social care managers could be held to account for care failures . . . but I thought this was already in place.

So will this mean more regulation for managers who are already drowning in paperwork and perpetually fighting a rearguard action in a blame culture society.

Mr Hunt told the conference: “We have many committed managers in hospitals and care homes, but I need to say this to all managers – you will be held responsible for the care in your establishments.

“You wouldn’t expect to keep your job if you lost control of your finances. Well, don’t expect to keep it if you lose control of your care.

“So, as of today, I have asked my department and the Care Quality Commission how we can make sure managers are held accountable for the care they provide, both in the NHS and social care sectors.”

The LGC reported a source close to Mr Hunt said the health secretary was currently merely “asking” the DH and CQC for “suggestions” on how to make managers more accountable.

“He’s only asked them the question at the moment so we don’t want to speculate whether it’s a step towards the regulation of managers,” the source said.

There is much speculation what the driver actually is for Mr Hunt’s comments regarding manager regulation.

Mr Lansley, now leader of the House of Commons, was reported as saying. “It’s always been intended from all the way back when we were first thinking about all of the responses to Mid Staffordshire that [we look at] a framework that managers share with other NHS staff which is accountable and transparent.”

The catalyst here no doubt is the soon-to-be-published Robert Francis report into the failures of Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

More teeth for CQC? Probably.

More regulation? Definitely.

More money to do our job? What a surprise, we haven’t a clue.


Written by debbielq

October 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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