Former New York governor Mario Cuomo once said that politicians campaign in poetry but govern in prose. When it comes to social care issues in the current election campaign, most UK politicians are struggling with even basic literacy.
What then are we to make of the commitments made by the three main political parties?
The coalition has done well to pass the Care Act, but bigger change is now needed. In an ageing society social care has become too important to play second fiddle to the NHS, says Richard Humphries.
As debate on the future of the NHS rises up the agenda ahead of the general election in May, the government can take comfort from our report on the British Social Attitudes Survey 2014, which shows public satisfaction with the NHS at its second highest level since the survey began.
The NHS faces three major challenges in 2015: preparing for the spending review, achieving much closer integration of health and social care, and ensuring that the NHS has the leadership in place to deliver the highest possible standards of care within available resources.
As the dust settles on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, this is a good time to review what it told us. I think it contained three big messages: one on money, one on reform, and one on social care.
The government expects councils and NHS partners to achieve way too much, with too little, too soon, says Richard Humphries.
The deafening silence on future funding amounts to a failure of the political process at a time when the NHS is heading rapidly towards a deep and damaging crisis.
The growing problems in the NHS and social care cannot be solved by the Better Care Fund or any of the other short-term solutions on offer. Nothing less than a fundamental reform of the funding of health and social care services and citizens’ entitlements to publicly funded support is required to address these problems.
I agreed with much of what Simon Stevens said at the Age UK For Later Life conference until he stated that he would be ‘disappointed’ if care homes still existed within the next 50 years. I didn’t get the chance to challenge him but I want to do it now.
Although earlier rumours of the demise of the Better Care Fund – the government’s £3.8 billion pooled fund to promote integrated care – have turned out to be greatly exaggerated, the significance of the government’s latest announcement about the fund should not be.
Dominic Stenning is a member of the experts by experience group for the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England. He spoke at the launch of the interim report, giving a frank and compelling patient perspective on the health, mental health and social care system.
The post-war settlement that created the current divide between health and social care must be replaced. If we duck the hard choices laid out by the Barker commission, then services will progressively deteriorate with patients, users and carers the real losers.
Although all the political parties agree about the importance of integrated care as an end, willing the means to achieve it is another matter, says Richard Humphries.
In her new data blog, Yang Tian draws on previously unpublished results from the most recent British Social Attitudes survey to see what the public think about who should pay for social care services.
The Integration Transformation Fund: the foundation of a genuinely integrated system or just another brick in the wall?
Expectations for the Integrated Transformation Fund are high, but will it actually help to deliver integrated care when the system is so under pressure?
To secure the opportunities of the ‘gift of longer life’ we have to think differently about how we organise and fund our health and care services for an ageing population.
Chris Ham introduces our Commission on the future of health and social care in England, explaining that the divison between the NHS and social care established in 1948 is no longer fit for purpose.
The new Care Bill is a breakthrough for social care funding, as for the first time, there will be a limit on how much people have to pay for their care. But there are still dangers in the proposed system.
What does today's announcement from Jeremy Hunt mean for social care funding? Richard Humphries considers the key points in his new blog.