This is a different sort of blog for me – it’s my journalist head trying to get at the truth of the matter, so this will be particularly relevant to you if you are disabled, in receipt of benefits or in need of social care.
Two important pieces of legislation are happening as we speak – The Health & Social Care Act and also the Welfare Reform Act 2012. These two laws have the potential to make significant change to how we provide health and social care and how we provide financial support to many groups in the country.
I’ve not got any particular political axe to grind – but I’m interested to know what people’s thoughts, feelings, hopes, worries or concerns are around these laws. I’m not at all sure that people know what is proposed in clear detail. For example, single parents will be encouraged strongly to work once their youngest child reaches five – at the moment it’s 16. Is that good or is that bad? It’s felt that too many people are claiming Disabled Living Allowance and there is an aim to cut that cost. So the DLA is to be replaced by the Personal Independence Payment. What does that mean in terms of assessment of need? Who will carry out the assessments and when?
Will changes to social and health care affect vulnerable groups – for good or ill? eg. dementia sufferers and/or their carers or families?
Another thing which interests me is the idea of an organisation called Monitor overseeing or looking at the health service – what’s that all about? Is this a private company scrutinising a public service? Is that a good or bad thing?
Are there any groups out there who are actively campaigning? Or is the public feeling that there are too many scroungers getting an easy life by not working and claiming everything under the sun? I’m skeptical that that is the case but I could be wrong?
Please let me know your thoughts and feelings? Do comment. Or send personal message which I can keep private (though please clearly state if you want that to be the case).