Leaving aside the astonishing brass neck required for Miles Briggs to call himself the Shadow Health Secretary, the Herald letting him talk unchallenged about a crisis in social care in Scotland, beggars belief. Don’t they read about the all-too-real crisis in social care in Tory England? See this from the Guardian last June:
The government’s failure to get to grips with the escalating financial crisis in social care has put tens of thousands of older and disabled people at risk of being denied basic support such as help with washing and dressing, care chiefs have warned.
Without urgent guarantees over funding levels there was a serious risk that local authorities would be forced to start decommissioning care services in the autumn, they said. “This situation has a very real and damaging effect on the day-to-day lives of people who need and provide care,” said the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services in its annual survey.
In a withering assessment, Adass said social care in England was adrift in a “sea of inertia” caused by years of budget cuts and Brexit-related Whitehall policy paralysis. “The system is not only failing financially, it is failing people,” it concluded.
There were already signs that some fragile local care markets were imploding under the strain – almost half of councils had witnessed the closure of domestic home care providers in their area in the past year, and a third had seen residential care homes shut down, collectively affecting more than 8,000 clients and residents.
Although the care crisis has emerged as a topic in the Conservative party leadership debates – the former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted the cuts have gone too far – this is seen of no practical help for councils unsure of funding levels beyond the next few months.
But, but, far worse, Briggs gets to propose, again unchallenged, a madcap plan to recruit volunteers to support discharged patients for whom a proper care package is not yet in place but who are using beds needed for intensive care of coronavirus patients.
How daft can he get? Once out of the hospital, these poor folk would be told to isolate themselves. The last thing they need is a bunch of volunteers barging around from place to place helping them to get infected. Even Boris Johnson now knows that this is not what to do.
We’ve already had that QEUH medic who is not an infection control specialist suggesting something similar there and being told by the director how daft the idea is. Is she a friend of Miles as well as of John Beattie?