Sunday, January 27, 2008

Who cares?

Nobody who saw today's "Politics Show" could fail to have been moved by the story of Roger and Anne Tuson. Roger suffered a brain haemorrhage, and his wife Anne looks after him around the clock - washing, dressing, bathing and so on.

She sends her husband to a care home for six hours, twice a week to give her some respite. But she pays for this from her Carer's Allowance - leaving her just three pounds a week in acknowledgement of the job she does.

The Audit Commission published a report last week - "Positively Charged" - which suggests that local authorities should balance their budgets by charging more for care to those who can afford it - something Kent did last year when it raised its charges for domiciliary care in order to keep its eligibility criteria at Moderate in the face of ever decreasing funding.

Isn't it time we stopped looking for sticking plasters? Why can't Government just admit once and for all that the balance of funding between health and social care system is fundamentally flawed, and needs a total and radical overhaul.

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