It is good to see the provision of care for older people is high on the Government’s agenda (Care and Support Green Paper). But what concerns me with this proposal is that they seem to be focussing on the finance rather than the service delivery.
There’s no service specification and nothing to indicate what people are going to get for their £20,000. If it equates to a 15-min visit from an overworked carer working to an overpriced local authority contract then that doesn’t seem to me to be a very good deal.
Of course money is important, but it isn’t the be all and end all. The private sector is already doing some innovative things in terms of care for older people. There are some excellent retirement village and assisted living developments being operated, RSLs are creating excellent extra care facilities, and the private sector is more than happy to step in and help fill this space given the opportunity but what is needed from Government is more than just money.
What is required is a new policy on planning so it’s much more clearly understood how these kinds of developments are going to be created. And we need to have more clarity in terms of the regulatory requirements, in terms of CQC (the successor to CSCI).
I think that with some appropriate financial stimulus from the Government, this will enable the private sector to go a long way towards achieving the Government’s objectives without the need for a massive capital injection being talked about here.