Cordis Pulse: June 2017
27 June 2017
The General Election of June 2017 will go down in political history as the only election result where proposed national policy on social care played a decisive role in elector’s final voting choice. The misfiring manifesto proposal by the Conservatives to abolish free homecare for every older person that owned a home worth more than £100,000 proved to be a clear vote loser. The announcement in the Queen’s speech of further consultation on possible funding solutions and a vague commitment to a ‘cap on costs’ suggests that yet again the issue of how to secure a sustainable and equitable funding solution for social care may be kicked down the road for a future government to address.
The Queen’s speech also contained a commitment to review the Mental Health Act 1983 which has not had a comprehensive review and update for 34 years. One of the biggest drivers for this review has been the rising number of people detained under the act, sometimes inappropriately in police cells, and the over representation of black people being detained. Changes to the act are likely to impact on how collaborative working between different sectors evolve and the report from the King’s Fund on the learning from Vanguards looking at new models of care gives useful insight into the current state of play.
Standing behind all this however is a more concerning report from the Mental Health Foundation, which based on a survey amongst panels members suggest that the prevalence of poor mental health is increasing. A clear indication of the growing political consensus that change is needed to mental health services is that even an unpopular and weak minority government believes that it can count on cross party support to try and improve the situation.
Concerning Children’s Services, The Education Policy Institute’s paper on manifesto commitments highlighted that a Conservative government would result in a c3% reduction in per pupil funding in real terms over the course of the next parliament. There are mixed indicators from the general election about what will happen in reality: retaining Justine Greening as Secretary of State implies policy continuity; whilst the lack of a clear majority means that MPs whose constituencies may lose out from reforms may be able to extract concessions or reversals in policy plans. Cordis Bright’s view is that a policy reversal, rather than a patchwork of compromises, is the best solution: not just for schools but also for statutory social services which can benefit from an education sector which is able to fully participate in parental engagement, prevention, and early intervention.