A little less conversation, a little more action please

A big week for UK Politics, Theresa May has gone and Boris is in. Before the removal vans had even finished, Boris was straight to work in his unique, blustering style.

We have heard his mantra of ‘the UK leaving the EU come what may on 31 October’ a 1000 times – but can he pull it off? The EU have remained resolute (so far) in standing by the original negotiated deal and have categorically said there is nothing else to discuss but they’ll be around if he fancies a chat – whatever that means…. And it isn’t as easy as saying “ok we’ll not take the deal on the table then, thanks but no thanks”. The Parliament clearly has to approve proposed actions and already we are seeing strong opposition to leaving the EU without a deal. That said preparations for this very real option are being ramped up once again.

Boris has pledged quite a lot already, for example, 20,000 more Police Officers on our streets over the next 3 years. That will take us back to the same level of Policing before the austerity funding cuts. It’s a start.

So what about social care? The Prime Minister has said that it is a priority – tell us something we don’t know! The funding gap by 2025 will be at £3.6 Billion if there isn’t some decisive intervention. You may have heard his first speech, he said, “So I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.” Welcome rhetoric – but actions speak louder than words, we have heard it all before. There hasn’t been any explicit or detailed plan revealed as yet, but we know that his ideas do include a state-backed insurance scheme, floated by Matt Hancock a while ago.

And working age adults who require support, Boris? What about them? And the mythical Green Paper? To be fair the guy has been in the job 5 minutes, even Larry the cat doesn’t recognise him yet! But love him or loathe him he has at least in his very first speech acknowledged that action in the sector needs to be taken. Clearly, all people that access social care need to be included in any reforms, their support needs considered. We need systemic change that enables people with a learning disability and/or autism to truly be a part of their own lives. Person centredness has been around for many years but we still don’t always get that right – and the system is part of that problem. It can be such a barrier – and that is just not right. So we wait with bated breath – will we see a half-hearted attempted or a real shake up of the sector and the relationship between social care and health? Time will tell.

The coming weeks will be very interesting in many ways – both at home and in the context of the EU exit as well as the escalating Iranian ‘issue’. Whether we like it or not, Boris is in the top job – let’s hope he deliveries the goodies he has promised.

Best wishes
Lisa Lenton
England Director

26 July 2019