With another white paper on social care pending soon after Labour’s own white paper shortly before the last Election, I must wonder what will it contain? Will it really make any difference or will it simply add more mess and confusion to what is already a complex and misunderstood system.
Despite all the talking over the last few years, I still feel the wider questions has not been asked like what is care and should people should expect? And what is support and should that be linked to having outcomes? I personally see a difference between care and support. Care for me is the basic needs people must have, as a right, now to move backwards in terms of health and well-being. It is a right regardless of situation but does not ignore the fact a person’s quality of life, especially older people, relates to the effort they put in and people need to lie in the beds they make for themselves.
I see support as what is needed for people to take responsibilities and should be condition on having outcomes, which is not necessarily about achieving them, it is about A for Effort. Support relates more to working aged adults because they have more responsibilities place upon them and often less opportunity to build their financial and social capital. I do not see support as a right but a need from the right to take responsibility and the support needed must be proven. If you do not try to make something of yourself, why do you need support as a human right? As most people need to earn money to enjoy leisure, people needing support can not demand the fun bits without putting the work in, that’s equality!
The biggest issue for working aged adults is the issue of care and support is split between Department for Health and Department for Work and Pensions, and between medical model benefits and needs led social care. Until the issue of care and support is dealt with together and for me that mean abolishing DLA and PIP, and giving everyone the actual care and support they need, removing barriers one by one, we will never get the real reforms we need.