Katie's Diary

Snap to it! by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

29th April 2017

What will the snap election mean for adult social care?

Like everyone else, at ubu we were a bit surprised by the Prime Minister’s decision to hold a General Election on 8 June and find ourselves thinking about what it might mean for the future of adult social care. 

With just 6 weeks to go, we wonder what kind of level of debate and discussion can we really expect from the political parties? Will their manifestos simply be a rehash of those produced in 2015? Or will they use this opportunity to develop new ideas and come up with more positive solutions to the problems that face us?

If they do, what could this mean for our creaking health and social care system? Will it make things better or worse? With increasing budget pressures and an ageing population, the expected election in 2020 looked set to be partly fought on the future of our National Health Service and how we create a health and social care system capable of meeting the challenges ahead. 

This year’s snap election means there is now very limited time, not only for parties to consider their positions on this issue, but also to for them hold a meaningful debates with those who are, and will be using services about what a new Government should do to support and improve our social care system. 

I think that it’s also important that we don’t forget that many local authority elections are taking place across the country at the beginning of May. Some regions will be electing Mayors who could become very influential in the future, especially in how funding is allocated. For example, in Manchester, the new Mayor will have a unique opportunity to shape the cities own health and social care agenda. We wonder if these newly elected local government officials might carry the torch for the health and social care sector while the Government focuses primarily on exiting the European Union? 

A higher number of elections than usual in recent years will result in some voter apathy, and unfortunately the issues that affect voters the most – such as health and social care – have tended in the past to get swept under the carpet as political parties focus on electioneering. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen over the next six weeks. 

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Snap to it! by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

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