In these trying times of Brexit, a previous useless parliament and major debate on the fundamentals of our democracy (shouldn’t the Liberal Democrats be changing their name?), it is worth reiterating the drastic need for something to happen on social care reform given the aging population, the lack of a skilled English-speaking workforce and reduced social services funding.

There was a Royal commission on long-term care as long ago as 1998 but as usual politics intruded. Various other efforts at reform were made in the interim, but the Queen eventually signed the parliamentary bill in 2015 resulting from the sensible Dilnot report emanating from a 5 year cross-party commission to recommend solutions to social care funding. Then the bill was postponed until 2020 after the 2015 general election, and we all know what
happened thereafter.

For over 20 years, arguments about funding have obscured the deeper questions of what kind of future we want for ourselves and our loved ones in a civilised society – we should be giving humans a sense of purpose and friendship, not just reducing them to bodies to be washed and dressed. However, that means focussing on what an individual can do, not just what he or she can’t. And we need to create a joined-up social care workforce who speak one language, not just the dialect of different self-serving interests.

Maybe, just maybe, we now have a government who is actually going to do something right for the benefit of all involved in social care, although the prerequisite of any huge step is also cross-party consensus. The big question is do we now have a Prime Minister and a Chancellor of the Exchequer who both know and understand the huge extent of the problem at the bottom end of our industry and who both believe that they must solve it.