An Unbalanced SocietyMay 15, 2010
Thousands of people being inconvenienced by having to change or cancel their travel plans because of the British Airways strike.
100s of 1000s of vulnerable people whose lives have been affected because local authorities were unable to increase the care fees they pay this year.
Which one did you hear about in the media?
This is one of the systemic problems faced by social care in getting the attention it deserves in today’s society. The media will no doubt argue that people are not interested in social care and it is their job to report what people want to hear through the media. Yet the flip side of this is people are not interested in social care because it is not reported about and they know very little of the social care system in the UK.
How many national newspapers covered the launch of the Social Care White Paper on 30th March this year?
How much national media coverage was given to the Care Quality Commissions annual report which stated, back in February, “rising demand and pressure on finances make reform essential”?
The answer – very little. Yet how can society debate or make judgements on issues that affect the lives of so many people without being given the essential facts by the media we so rely on for much of our everyday information. It is not only the lives of the vulnerable people you use care services but also those who work to care for people, those who care for their loved ones and relatives, those who work behind the scenes in providing care services etc.
Whilst millions are involved in receiving or delivering care services it is, perhaps, those who have no connection with care that need to be informed and a part of the debate. The facts are plain, we have an increasing ageing population and the number of people with dementia is predicted to rise sharply. More and more people will find themselves involved in the social care system, in some way, in the coming years and it is important that everyone in the country is informed in the debates around social care.
We need greater national media coverage, involvement and balance in social care to raise the awareness of the nation of such an integral part of the British social system.
You can choose not to travel if you want but there is no choice in getting older and, perhaps, needing social care services.