By Debbie le Quesne

The fatal flaw that will cause the Care Bill to fail

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Writing in the Guardian Rachael Byrne, executive director of care and support at Home Group says: “The defeat of former care minister Paul Burstow’s proposed amendment to the Coalition’s care bill left those of us in the business of delivering social care frustrated, but also questioning if MPs fully understand the gravity of what is at stake for society as a whole?”

And she adds: “The abstention of Labour MPs reflect the findings of a Home Group commissioned survey, which revealed that almost all MPs questioned had no experience of receiving or delivering care.

“A majority also had a dim view of the current state of social care and future plans. Even the National Audit Office is now getting in on the act with its recent warnings about the dangers in the way we intend to provide care.”

She goes on to say that social care is being rationed under the current sytem and while much of the Care Bill is to be applauded, few MPs have a real clue about what’s needed.

I quote: “So while we welcome much of what it is doing we also have to recognise that we’re only half way there. We need to get the implementation right – eligibility has to be set at a level that means people that need support to do the basics get it.” True!

I agree we need to see preventive care, care support with out domiciliary providers and a shift in thinking that out elderly are not on the fringes of society.

In short, although the Care Bill has some excellent content, we are a long way off from where the care industry wants it to be.

We have a golden opportunity to get it right. Let’s not miss it.

As Byrne says: “The government needs to make sure that everyone who needs care is captured in the system. We think the bar should be set to allow people to live independent lives, not just exist. We are concerned that if they set the bar too high, people who need support will be shut out of the system.”

And rooted in basics of this legislation is the the fatal flaw: Under-funding.

Councils need to be investing more just to keep up with demand. But instead they’ve been forced to reduce their budgets,” says Bryne.

Will I ever stop banging thos drum? No! We need future-proof investment and Bryne estimates it to be a £2.8bn black hole.

Reform clearly has a cost. For me, it’s a wise investment and a moral one too. Election fever wil soon be with us . . .let’s see who will pledge to pay the piper.


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