Monday, 1 February 2010

The Beeb reports

I'm currently paying my way through my uni course by working in a call centre three days a week. For some reason my employers provide internet access but this is limited to the BBC web domain. Exploring this is like exploring Wookey Hole caves with its hidden chambers slowly revealed by deeper and deeper dives into the dark waters. One of my best discoveries to date is a wonderful text based adventure game based on the Hitchikers Guide to ther Galaxy. My main stomping grounds are the news and sport pages. I'm not a huge fan of BBC news, but 9-5 it's all I've got. Today I also noticed an article directly related to the post I made yesterday about the Governments plans for free social care.

According the BBC report the schemes financial projections have been called into question by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). It turns out the Government assumed that the average cost for a care package for someone meeting the criical criteria is around £100 a week. ADASS on the other hand estimeate it at £200. A figure which from my care management experience appears more realistic. The effect of this underestimate is, the article suggests a £500m funding shortfall which falls squarely on the shoulders of local authorities.

Interestingly elsewhere on the site is an article about a report by former civil-service insiders which in criticising poor legislation fingers the Personal Care at Home Bill as a possible example of legislation which is not sufficiently thought through.

Perhaps yesterday I overstated what I felt was the agenda behind the legislation. To be sure I beleive there is a long term trend for increasing white-collar privitisation in local government but, maybe and this is equally worrying policymakers in government are simply making it up as they go along informed by nothing more than their hunches. To me this is a proposition more worrying than the hypothesis I put forward yesterday.

There are certainly a whole load of logistical issues. One which springs instantly to mind is that care managers will find themselves pressured on one hand by service users and families keen to receive free services and the authourity on the other hand which wants to protect its budget. Has anyone thought of this?

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