The Government is shortly supposed to be coming up with a Green Paper on Social Care. The aim of the paper is to resolve the current and future funding crisis in Social Care related to the ever-growing numbers of older people. This is a recurring issue which politicians regularly approach and then back away from. It constantly gets put in the “too difficult” box. For now Brexit has absorbed most of the headlines and the politicians’ attention. But the issue of older peoples’ care just won’t go away.
I have been writing about it ever since I started this blog. You can see many of my earlier posts by clicking on “CARE FUNDING” in the TOPICS list.
Now at least the penny seems to have dropped with somebody with a louder voice than mine. Mr Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, raised a radical proposal with the House of Commons Select Committee on Long Term Funding of Adult Social Care. His proposal was that we should tax the homes of elderly people to fund the growing social care bill. This is something that I have long advocated.
The context of Mr Stevens’ evidence to the Committee was that there was large scale bed blocking in the NHS. Around 18,000 people have been stuck in hospital for 21 days or more. This amount to 1 in 5 of all NHS beds or the equivalent of taking 36 hospitals out of action.
The elderly will never vote for this and since many of them are Conservative voters, neither will the Tory party propose it. On the other hand, if the Labour party gets into power, I doubt they would have the courage to adopt such a radical proposal. Therefore we are left with a political stalemate.