SW Surrey’s Hunt chump will never get over losing out to Boris the Bulldozer will he?
The former UK health secretary has proposed taxing the over-40s to cover the costs of social care for the elderly.
He says “it’s now – or never” – to fix a social care system that is broken. Hunt broke ranks on Tuesday to propose a “tax surcharge to people over 40,” a measure introduced in Germany and Japan. He said the taxes were “only a small amount extra, but as you get older you start to pay a little bit more.”
Our MP Jeremy Hunt, Conservative chair of parliament’s health and social care committee, called for “boldness” from prime minister Boris Johnson, his rival for the party leadership last year. Because of course, he knows what the word boldness means – having upset every young junior doctor in the country on his watch – the very same guys who are now heading-up the teams fighting COVID-19. Some of whom have lost their lives in the process!
Hunt says Boris should ‘seize the opportunity’ created by his large majority in the Commons and the public mood in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
“I just think the year after the pandemic, if we don’t do it now, it really is now or never. Because the public has never understood better how important our care system is.
Wake up, Mr Hunt! The public knows only too well how important the care-system is? They have been paying for their elderly parents and other family members down to their last penny. What rubbish you talk about down to their last £23,000 down to their last couple of pounds more like!
Under your watch, many of your residents were refused any NHS contribution towards their care, despite needing nursing-care input, for long-term health conditions whist in nursing homes. Appeals ignored, as families dug deeper into their own pockets. And now you suggest, they should be taxed more forevermore?
Mr Hunt says the current funding model for social care is widely seen as unfit for purpose, leaving huge bills for many who need care and significant pressure on cash-strapped local authorities and providers.
Perhaps he hasn’t read the new model of care proposed by Surrey Heartlands NHS Trust. The Trust that runs healthcare on his patch in Waverley?
Perhaps he should read it now? Because this is what the local health bodies have told Cranleigh Parish Council what health care will look like in the future.
Having discussed your concerns with colleagues across the Guildford and Waverley Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), we can now more clearly explain our joint position on our future plans.
‘Whilst we recognise the importance of local nursing home provision for those who need it, because of the rapidly changing nature of the way care is provided in the community, it is simply not possible for the CCG or SCC to make a firm commitment to purchasing a specific number of beds for NHS-funded care in the future. As an ICP it is our responsibility to ensure the best health outcomes for our local communities; with a Parish Council Meeting 17 December 2020 Page 5 of 7 significant shift away from bed-based care for older people – due to patients having better outcomes if they are recovering or being cared for in their own place of residence – we will continue to invest in enhanced community services and support to allow more people to be cared for at home wherever appropriate. This investment includes the creation of community-based multidisciplinary teams, aligned with the local geographies of our Primary Care Networks, creating a much more personalised and locally-based service. These expanded neighbourhood teams will include GPs, pharmacists, district nurses, community geriatricians and Allied Health Professionals e.g. occupational therapists. This approach means that community-based care in Guildford and Waverley will be in line with the NHS Long Term Plan and is where we want to focus much of our future investment for older people.
In conclusion, whilst there will always be a need for some level of NHS funded care home beds, the landscape is rapidly changing; in line with the NHS Long Term Plan, we are putting much more focus on community-based care, supporting people in their own homes for as long as possible, which is evidenced to improve outcomes and quality of care. We appreciate that the position explained earlier this year was different and we again apologise for this. We are, however, obliged to consider our current operating position and ensure our plans are aligned with best practice evidence and national strategies.
In light of this, we consider that it is not, therefore, appropriate for us to make a long-term commitment to purchasing additional bed-based care as this would be contrary to our overall direction of travel as a local health and care system. In the meantime, as I’m sure you will appreciate, our focus now has to be on responding to the pressing demands of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this helps to clarify our current position more clearly.
He says efforts to fix the system have repeatedly hit a wall, with ministers shying away from reform as many proposals have sparked a fierce backlash.
So says the longest-serving Health Minister in the history of this country?
Hunt broke ranks on Tuesday to propose a “tax surcharge to people over 40,” a measure introduced in Germany and Japan. He said the taxes were “only a small amount extra, but as you get older you start to pay a little bit more.”
The MP, a cabinet member for much of the past decade including as health secretary between 2012 and 2018, said both countries had avoided “public pushback” with the measures.
“I think the biggest battle now is with the Treasury because the sums of money are eye-watering. We were even more bankrupt as a country after the Second World War and then we had the imagination and vision to set up the NHS, and I think this is another 1948 moment.”
Johnson promised to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” on the steps of Downing Street in his first speech as prime minister last year.
Oh, dear! As we said before – Hunt’s having a Trump moment!