Ballerina shows Government must act on Dilnot report

On Monday, the Dilnot Commission published recommendations to reform social care in England. More people would get social care support; fewer people would have to pay for it; and everybody would be protected from paying huge costs for care over their lifetime. What’s not to like?

Well if you’re the current Government, two things. Firstly, some newspapers that are generally considered to support the Government have attacked it because older people may be asked to pay towards funding this new system. This wholly ignores the fact that people aged 65+ are already paying £8.3bn a year for social care at the moment. Dilnot’s recommendations would mean they would have to pay less

Secondly, it would mean additional Government spending of £1.7bn p/a, which would rise in the future. £1.7bn is 0.25% of public expenditure. Dilnot advised that this 0.25% could be found in three ways:

  • Through an increase in general taxation income
  • Reduce spending by 0.25% in other areas to pay for this
  • Introduce a specific tax increase to pay for the 0.25%

The question is not whether we can afford the 0.25% or not. The question is do we want to afford it?

For me the answer was provided by another big story of the week – Elaine McDonald, the former ballerina. Her council is removing her overnight care that helped her use a commode, instead giving her incontinence pads to wear. And she’s not a one off. There are stories like this all over England where people’s quality of life are being severely affected because we are not providing enough social care support.

The immediate blame for poor social services is often laid at the door of councils as it is they who provide the services. We don’t blame Government for causes behind this, making it easier for them not to do anything to improve the system. That has to change. Government should act and find this 0.25%; if they don’t I won’t be the only one who will blame them the next time another person’s dignity is stripped away.

Take care



July 7, 2011 - Posted by | Social Care | ,


  1. I was appalled by this story – what a total lack of respect for Elaine McDonald – apparently this is standard practice! Err, sorry – using incontinence pads is supposedly standard practice – the reality is that the dignity of a person needing care counts for nothing in the face of someone else’s convenience.

    Comment by carol | July 8, 2011 | Reply

  2. Frankly the judges should have tried the pads out overnight before making their decision. Might have come up with a more reasoned judgement.

    Comment by charles47 | July 9, 2011 | Reply

  3. Harrow Council proposes to use the money given by the government instead to improve their image by transforming their website and to pay staff redundancies amongst other things not to do with alleviating the distress to the intention it was allocated for.

    Comment by LC | July 9, 2011 | Reply

  4. […] This post was Twitted by caringdating […]

    Pingback by Twitted by caringdating | August 25, 2011 | Reply

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