As we head into the new decade, with a new majority government, people across a variety of industries across the country are expecting to see real change.
With the same being said from those who work in and around social care, could the turn of the New Year see Boris Johnson and his Conservative Government turn around what many refer to as a social care ‘crisis’ and get the sector in a place it can really best serve and help the people?
As the country gets back to work in 2020, the British public will be expecting Boris Johnson and his Government to inject some real change into people’s lives across the country.
This month, in a bid to ensure he Johnson sticks to his promises in what he set out in the general election manifesto campaigners have said the newly elected Prime Minister ‘had a once in a lifetime opportunity to tackle the social care crisis.’
The North Yorkshire based Independent Care Group (ICG) called on the Conservative Party to end the social crisis in the New Year.
The group’s chair, Mike Padgham, said: “We need a 2020 vision. We are at the start of an exciting new decade, with a new government in place which, with a clear majority, should be in a position to get on and tackle the issues it has promised to tackle before – including social care. It is a real opportunity to make a difference to a lot of people’s lives.
“Boris Johnson promised to sort out social care when he first took office and repeated that pledge ahead of the General Election. Now he has that opportunity to be bold over social care, give it a real shake-up and produce something we can all be proud of for generations to come. He could make a name for himself as the Prime Minister who finally solved the social care crisis and ‘Boris’s Care Bill’ could actually go down in history.”
Social care leaders have been critical of the new government for its lack of specific policies on how it intends to tackle the sector’s crisis, giving an underwhelming response to policies outlined in the Queen’s Speech.
Mike invited Mr Johnson to visit Yorkshire to see the social care crisis on the frontline, adding: “Boris Johnson thanked electors – particularly those in so-called northern Labour heartlands – for ‘lending’ him their votes. They will want to see him repay that loan and not just by delivering Brexit but by improving other things too, including care.
“If he wants to start in Yorkshire I will be more than happy to welcome him here to show him the full extent of the crisis on the frontline of social care and give him some pointers on how to solve it.”
In his first televised interview since his election last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already confirmed that his so-called social care rescue plan could still be five years away which is despite the prime minister pledging before the election that he and his team had a ready to go package to solve the social care crisis.
In an interview this morning with BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, Johnson admitted that although his aim is to get his plans in motion within the first year, it could take until the end of the Government (potentially five years), to get it fully implemented.
After explaining how he wants the elderly to receive the care they need without having to sell their homes, Dan Walker asked for a date.
The PM responded: “We’ll certainly get it done within this parliament.”
Walker pushed him, explaining how this could mean waiting five years, when his pre-election promise said there was a plan ready to go and be put into practice immediately.
To which the PM confirmed: “Well, we will bring forward this year. We will bring forward a plan this year, we will get it done in this parliament. It is a big, big thing.”
This was met with a lot of criticism from not only the industry, but also from the public. A lot of which may have voted for Johnson on the back of his social care pledge.
A step in the right direction
However, what might be seen as a step in the right direction, is the government’s pledged to bridge the technology gap between the NHS and social care with a £4.5m investment.
The local authority funding, which came with a £40m plan to reduce NHS staff login times, will be used to develop digital social projects to help vulnerable people live independently for longer and improve information sharing across the NHS and social care.
As part of the plans, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock will pledge to design a model of what technology excellence looks like so that every health and social care provider knows what they need to do be outstanding in the next decade. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said providers’ digital capability would be assessed as part of the CQC’s inspection regime.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I want to harness the best digital technology to improve care for patients and ease the burden on our staff. And to do that, we need to get the basics right. Too often, outdated technology slows down and frustrates staff, and prevents them from giving patients their full attention and the care they deserve.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “Care England welcomes this announcement. It is a real step forward in implementing tech to create efficiencies and ensure quality to care helping people lead meaningful lives.
“The focus on easing communi-cations between the NHS and social care will reap great rewards, and the government must ensure that the benefits from greater efficiencies filter down to the social care providers who are investing their own money in new tech. Technology, if used well, will give NHS staff and workers in social care the ‘gift of time’ to care for people rather than administrate.