Public servants have specific restrictions on their activities during elections. It is a rule called purdah and you are not allowed to do or say anything that might influence the result. Fortunately this does not apply to charity Chief Executives, so here goes with an election commentary, not that I expect to influence anyone.
Social care wasn’t a big issue in the 2010 election. Attempts at reaching a cross-party agreement about how to pay for it were killed off by a Conservative campaign poster of a coffin and the headline ‘Labour’s Death Tax.’ Ironic that this idea (paying back the first £72,000 of what someone who owns their own house has paid for social care from their estate when they die) became law in the Health & Social Care Act.
Political campaigning aside it is to the credit of the coalition government that they achieved a comprehensive and ambitious overhaul of social care legislation with the Health & Social Care Act. It will be left to the next government to decide how to finance and resource this legislation. The Coalition has undermined much of the good it has done by deciding to protect NHS Spending, but leave social care exposed to the inpact of a 40% real terms fall in financial support to local government who are responsible for social care. The sharpest reductions have been in community-based services, like home care and politicians scratch their heads and wonder why so many people are turning up at hospitals and GP surgeries.
My vote would go to any politician who says “let’s sit down with all parties and come up with a 10 year settlement for health & social care. Let’s make unpopular decisions like closing hospitals and investing in community services together and stop treating health and social care as a political football.”
I cannot see this type of statement in any manifesto so who will I vote for?
That is between me and the ballot box.