We can test this

The competitive, for-profit model of social care provision has had 30 years to deliver on its promises of efficient, high-quality services. In that time, the crisis in adult social care has only deepened. Instead of driving innovation, increased competition between providers has undermined care quality. It is time to stop pursuing the same strategy and expecting a different outcome.

The care sector needs an overhaul. Not only do we need adequate long-term funding from central government, we also need to address some searching questions about the role of profit in the sector, and ask: who is benefiting from this dysfunctional model? And who, ultimately, is paying the price?

So, those remaining council run or state run homes provide a better service than the private ones, do they?

Hmm, what’s that, you don’t want to test a beautiful theory against ugly facts?

11 thoughts on “We can test this”

  1. Friedman’s quad. Councils paying for care are not the ones receiving the care, so are sensitive to price and insensitive to quality.

  2. long-term funding from central government

    In the guardian world view isn’t that always the answer to every problem, perceived or real?

  3. It would be kinder to be smothered with a pillow than subjected to council ‘care’.

    Having done some vetting of care homes, even the ‘cheaper’ private ones are barely fit for livestock.

    adequate long-term funding from central government

    They never understand where the money comes from, do they?

  4. “long-term funding from central government”: I prefer the admirable American habit of writing ” long-term funding from the taxpayer”.

    “Having done some vetting of care homes …”: God, it’s sobering, isn’t it? For her father my wife found one outstanding home. To my surprise it was run by Methodists – about whom I shall never joke again.

    Anyway, one result of her two searches is that she insists that if we need care it must be supplied in our own house. It would mean mortgaging the house, and so be it.

    When my father tried to arrange care for his grandma, a rather demanding old biddie, the only solution he found was to arrange that on her death her house would pass to the carer. (He must have trusted the carer, eh?) It was rather a fine house, but needs must: the old girl came first.

  5. My brother – 80, post-stroke – is in a private care home – no complaints, except for Government edicts about CoVid. He is comfortable, kept clean, has a nice room, helpful and pleasant carers, decent food.

  6. I have knowledge of two care homes. One is small privately owned & the other is owned by a large operator in the field with mostly council-funded inmates. The small private one is excellent in all respects. The other wouldn’t look out of place in the Soviet Union.

  7. Ahhh! One in eight beds are provided by private equity, hedge funds, or REITS – so seven out of eight are not. But *she* – is it always a “she” who is an innumerate Grauniad columnist? (surely not) – thinks that they dominate the sector and are responsible for all of its ills.

    Hedge funds own large chunks of the sector?!? That wouldn’t be a hedge! They are short of the providers they think are over-priced and long of the ones they think under-priced.

    The for-profit model has been delivering for *more than 50* years – in the 1960s local authorities had residential care homes that cost more and provided lower quality care. I know that because my mother was a member of the Social Services Committee. The closure of many LA-owned homes was more because they could not improved to for-profit-sector standards at reasonable cost. [There were also a lot of small residential care homes that were conversions of large old houses without lifts that provided good loving care that got closed when new regulations came in requiring lifts if the design of the house was not compatible with adding lifts.]

    The vast capital cost involved in meeting regulations has led to (a) local authorities quitting because their accountants cannot understand that capital and revenue costs are different and (b) the couple wanting to do something worthwhile with their large house and merely wanting enough to live on, ignoring depreciation or return on capital, being largely replaced by capitalists wanting a return on their multi-million £ investment.

    She thinks that companies going bankrupt are a cost to the public sector that has underpaid for LA-funded residents rather than for shareholders who lose their whole investment. SMBJ!

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