It says something for the hold the downmarket papers have over the broadcasters that the Financial Times’ lead story did not make it onto the bulletins this morning. Cheryl Cole’s absence from X Factor, house prices and continuing shenanigans at Fifa are still deemed more important than the standard of service in care homes.
I will quote the FT intro in full … ‘Britain’s care homes face a deepening crisis as some private-sector companies that piled into the sector struggle with their financial miscalculations amid fresh evidence that they provide worse quality care than their non-profit rivals.’
That assertion is supported by an analysis over three pages which ought to be on the top of ministerial in-trays, from the PM down.
It should also give them further cause for pause on the direction of travel of their planned NHS reforms. Interestingly, and seemingly coincidentally, it appears on the day FT columnist Phil Stephens urges the government simply to drop the NHS Bill.
When TB was PM, we were sometimes too keen to imagine that the private sector would be likely to deliver better care if given a chance. That trend has been accelerated under the coalition, and once again we see that it ain’t necessarily so. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn’t. It should certainly not be turned into an ideology.
Elsewhere in the media jungle, the Guardian reports that despite all their talk of tackling the costs of consultancy and justifying every penny of public money spent, the coalition has contracted private companies at the rate of £56million a day, including money spent on getting rid of quangoes.
Talking of social care, tonight’s Panorama investigating the alleged abuse of disabled, autistic and suicidal people in care looks like it is worth watching. Today’s FT is certainly worth reading. My normal advice to politicians is not to read the papers, but Mr Cameron and Mr Lansley should definitely take a look at the Pink ‘Un this morning.