Having been gripped by by-election fever this summer, and with the countdown to the next general election well and truly underway, PLMR adviser and former health minister Anne Milton has outlined in Caring Times magazine why now is the time for health and care providers to engage with the political process to influence party election manifestos and policies.
The election presents a critical opportunity for the UK’s care providers to address the many challenges facing the sector. Key challenges care providers could look to work with policymakers on include long-term funding, workforce shortages and overseas recruitment, training and career development pathways for care workers, and practically delivering greater integration with Integrated Care Systems.
Anne advises that persistence and patience are likely to be vital. Policy change does not happen overnight; indeed, it often takes weeks, months, and even years for a new policy to be agreed, developed and delivered. Social care reform remains an ‘unmovable object’ that no party has managed to meaningfully move forward for much of the last 20 years. But with Councils across the country increasingly warning they are entering financial distress due to demands on Adult and Children’s care services, the next Government will likely be forced to act.