Our ailing care system – a way out of the maze

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Camilla Cavendish nails social care as critical issue for the future of the NHS (How Britain can heal its ailing social care system).


She makes good case for German style insurance system where the over 40s and especially the over 65s pay the most. She describes the breakdown of private sector provision.She describes the 89 year old man she met who had made a note of every carer to cross his threshold in a year – and counted 102! My late mother coined her own collective noun for hers, a ‘confusion’ of carers.


What Cavendish doesn’t describe is the new model of care needed. Not owned by private equity short termists or quarterly reporting-driven listed companies but stable enterprises owned or part-owned by families, mutual insurers, social enterprises, pension funds and employees. Caring for people in their homes or in institutions needs to rank alongside being a paramedics, paralegal or teaching assistants as a valued vocation with a recognised career path.


Volunteer carers need tax breaks and career breaks as recommended by Carers UK. Technology for remote diagnosis and effective reporting can enhance carers teamwork


Matt Hancock as UK Secretary of State for Health and Social seems to understand these issues. Time to explore some joined up solutions and up front investment; delegate budget to more elected mayors who can show the way out of the care impasse in their patch in a joined up way.