I fully expect that over the next couple of days there will be many tweets sent and words written about the publication of the Dilnot Commission on the Funding of Care and Support; there is likely to be much musing about what it covers, what it doesn’t, whether its remit was right, how else we could address the challenges and so on and so on. From mid morning tomorrow you’ll be able to access the report on the DH dedicated website here. The following day (Tue 5 July at 11.30am) you can join David Behan, the Director General for Social Care for a live discussion about the implications here. There will be a lot of activity, which is good and right and proper.
So why the provocative, damn right rude and possible cynical title to this blog post?
Well because I do drive myself to distraction when I realise how many times I sit down to write a blog post and realise that it is all rather déjà vu. What started as a simple reflection earlier this evening, about how many times I have started a post that talks about the problems with social care…extended into a bit of a twitter conversation with Harriet Clarke, who draw my attention to work she had done looking at Long Term Funding for Older People over ten years ago, you can see a snippet here and here. These are not new problems and I’m sure Dilnot has done all he can but we’ve yet to see whether our politicians can reach a consensus on funding for social care.
Last November I was reflecting on the state of social care research and guess what the number one reflection was? Yip, identity:
Reflection One: Identity – I believe that social care has an identity crisis! When we talk about social care and the role that it can play in supporting people, we all talk about very different things. There is not one thing meant by it and without clear definitions or parameters it is hard to make clear arguments.
I believe the biggest challenge to social care, to society, for a useful legacy from the work of Dilnot, is identity. So many people don’t know what social care is, they don’t understand care and support and don’t care that they don’t. A couple of weeks ago I provided an intro to Dilnot here and a slightly dismayed reflection on it here. The dismay came from the same place.
The work of Dilnot, his commissioners, the DH staff supporting him, and of course us, the service users, carers and workers who have provided evidence and engaged with his work, will I hope, make a difference. I know that the government will publish a Social Care White Paper, they are waiting to respond to the Law Commission and Dilnot together – check out David’s coverage on that here:
I know that for a brief interlude tomorrow my world will feel a little brighter, those of us who toil in social care circles will step a little lighter, we’ll believe that we have reached new ground. Let’s not get complacent though, Dilnot is really only the first step of the next journey. We’ve a long way to go…and may I suggest that we start with the basics and focus on really engaging the general public with what social care is, what it does and why they need to care.