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.

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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