This is the most pessimistic blog I’ve ever written; it contains no ideas, no solutions, not even really that much anger just a ton of weary despair.
Today the ADaSS has released findings of a survey which show that the total budget put aside for means-tested social care by councils in 2014-15 stands at £13.68bn which represents a drop in cash terms of £266m from last year and a real terms cut of 12% since 2010 once inflation is taken into account.
At the same time demand for support has risen by 14% since 2010, meaning councils have had to make savings of 26%. LGA estimate the funding gap for social care will be 1.9 billion by March 16
The Governments response is depressingly predictable “‘Councils are ultimately responsible for deciding how to spend their budgets but we agree that we all need to work differently’ said a person from DH, she added the Better Care Fund would help
In other words, 1. blame local authorities and fail to mention that most have had their budgets reduce by 30-40% and 2. point at the Better Care Fund as the panacea to solve all social care ills.
Equally predictable and depressing is the complete lack of public outcry about the frankly shameful level and standard of social care in this country . I know The Guardian shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a barometer of the public view but just look at the number of comments any article about the NHS gets (easily hundreds) and then the number ones on social care get (tens if you’re lucky). It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that the general public don’t understand or care about social care. It’s all about the NHS.
As far as I can see, the Government sees no votes in social care because the public displays little or no interest in it. Unless it starts to affect voting patterns, I can’t see any Government prepared to have the conversation with the public that needs to be had about social care funding or to put the money into it that’s required. It’s a vicious circle.
As for me, after 20 odd years of trying to work with a social care system that seems to be crumbling to dust leaving the most vulnerable and the poorest with next to no care or support, I don’t know what to do. It seems impossible to change a social care system when society just frankly just doesn’t seem to give a ^$$(£$^ about it. I have huge admiration for people like @whoseshoes @legalaware @ermintrude @markneary1 and @georgejulian who battle on and on, yelling about the injustice, poor practice and appalling standards of care experienced by people on a daily basis, and who have come up with solutions to make things better. I wish I could be more like them, maybe one day I will, but at the moment improving social care seems a hopeless task.