“The government which effectively lost this month’s election promised in its March budget to add £2.5bn to social care funding. But at the time there was little or no indication as to how that would be applied. We now have a new government, which according to the Queen’s speech has disowned the more controversial parts of the Conservative manifesto for that election, including proposals on paying for care. The status of the March budget proposals remains far from clear. So it seems we face many more months, and possibly years, of indecision.
The funding system is clearly broken. A woefully underfunded care sector finds itself struggling to meet the costs of managing dementia, an illness for which treatment should be free at the point of delivery under the terms the British people have been led to expect for NHS service delivery.
The crisis in care funding is going to continue to throw up horrendous examples of service failure – such as those highlighted in Channel 4’s Dispatches programme on June 19 – until the government delivers an effective funding regime. The emphasis must be on delivering this – not merely announcing something which is supposed to make the issue go away. Only when an updated system is in place can we start to hope that the abuses which sadly still lurk in a few care homes can be rooted out.”