Patricia Hewitt could emphasise social care more than
John Reid. Social care is vitally important to health overall,
particularly with older people, but in general too. Social care
professionals can often pick up on potential health problems before
they progress. I have more confidence that a Labour government will
lean this way, than any other party.
John Reid improved the health sector but Patricia Hewitt
will wield more power across social care. With the insight she has
gained as deputy director of the Institute for Public Policy
Research and her reputation as a leading figure in the Labour
government, this can only bode well for improvements in social care
Disability equality adviser
Any health secretary is going to have their policies
restricted by the lack of funding. Most money goes to acute health
care, with social care coming a poor second. Let’s hope that
Patricia Hewitt has a better record on the “holistic” mode of
health and social care, which previous health ministers have not.
Young people’s activist
Patricia Hewitt recently announced a move to increase the
contribution of the private sector to health care rather than
strengthening the NHS. If she does increase the priority placed on
social care, this will only be compensation for what is a negative
move in health care. I’m tempted to bring back Reid.