Queen’s Speech – what we thought about the Draft Care and Support Bill

Having just survived a turbulent Health and Social Care Bill, and with the legal repercussions of the grueling Mid Staffs Inquiry delayed by the report being postponed until the autumn, another Health Bill was not likely. But everyone expected, nearly a year after the Dilnot Commission had reported, for there to be a Bill on the funding of social care. Yet this crucial but demanding obligation has been postponed and what we have been given is a Draft Care and Support Bill, a tidying up exercise of existing law, a potential anti-localism centralisation of eligibility criteria for social care (don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for national criteria that give clarity and assurance) and therefore we have by default a plan to embed the fear and uncertainty for both the poor without assets and the middle-classes with one main asset, their home.

The re-jigging of who gets to wear ermine is of miniscule concern to the public compared with the epic proportions of the people’s dilemma: what will happen when they can no longer look after themselves. Giving the new proposed quangos the benefit of the doubt, whilst this Bill could therefore, in part, improve health outcomes, having avoided the key question will mean that personal or private investment is not stimulated by a new clear funding framework, neither will the social care jobs market benefit despite the rising need and older people are left in the lurch. Lord Warner of Radio 4 wondered this morning if HM Treasury are behind the postponement because of the costs. Maybe, but quite honestly all it should take is to stop some of the pointless NHS expenditure. This really should not be staying in the ‘too difficult’ box.

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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