I haven’t been too well over the past week so haven’t been able to update on election news with the vigour that I might have liked. On the positives (well, kind of) I’m hoping the now fairly imminent surgery is going to, at least in the longer term, deal with some of the pain issues that have risen up but on the negatives the thought of going into hospital and the immediate pain in the aftermath is freaking me out a bit.
I’ve never had to deal with chronic pain before and I’m understanding how it affects every aspect of ones life. Hopefully, an end is in sight though.
Enough of the lingering self-pity though and back to election news.
[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=leaders+debate&iid=8532754″ src=”b/4/2/2/Britains_PM_Brown_f4d7.jpg?adImageId=12593753&imageId=8532754″ width=”234″ height=”176″ /]
The Guardian has a good summary of where the main parties stand on social policy issues.
From the Labour Party, apart from the ‘National Care Service’, we have a promise to ‘improve foster care’ including rolling out more specialised foster care services and introducing the ‘National College of Social Work’.
The Conservatives are sticking with their rather flaky £8000 insurance against long term care costs and an increased tax allowance for those who are married (or in civil partnerships).
The Tories are expected to repeal the law that set up children’s trusts which placed a “duty to co-operate” on police, schools and social services. They say the trusts didn’t prevent the death of Baby Peter and lead to a ” a buck-passing culture where, because everyone’s in a meeting, no one is responsible”.
I don’t know how these trusts work in practice as I work exclusively in adult services but I think the explanation that they didn’t prevent the death of Baby Peter is facile and disingenuous at the very least. Those who should have been caring for Peter caused his death and although there was bad practice involved, it doesn’t mean the responsibility should be placed on anyone other than those who killed him.
Much has been made of the local democracy and ‘big society’ idea. I am sure it will work very well in some areas in the suburbs where there is more active engagement. My worry, and I say this living in an inner city constituency with a very high rate of poverty, is that the issues may be hijacked by those with the loudest voices or the narrowest interests who can dictate to those for whom voting and engagement in local issues is not as important as where the next meal is coming from. Again, I live in a very diverse area but I can definitely see majority interests pushing out some of the smaller but significant minorities in the area where I live.
The Liberal Democrats confusingly promise one weeks respite care for carers. I had thought that was something a lot less generous than what current practice suggests that we do. They do though, prioritise dementia research.
I liked the idea of capping the pay of NHS managers to that of the Prime Minister. I don’t know if that was supposed to be funny but it definitely raised a smile to me. Now, they need to work on capping the City workers pay to that of the Queen… .. .
Mental Nurse has a more specific run down on issues presented in manifestos as they refer to mental health care in particular in a series of three posts:
This Election in Mentalists (1) Labour and Tories
This Election in Mentalists (2) Lib Dems and UKIP
This Election in Mentalists (3) Greens, Plaid Cymru, SNP
It makes for an interesting read and they have to get additional brownie points for reading the UKIP manifesto.
Finally, just an unrelated matter but I know something Julie at Campaigning for Health is involved with is the campaign against a local council proposal to build a new school on a disused landfill site. It seems a pretty appalling business so good luck to her with that campaign and if you want to read more about it, you can find it here – Safe Sites for St Ambrose and Drumpark Schools. She is asking people to link the site which of course, I’m more than happy to do.