I am absolutely delighted that the New Year has started with so much media comment about the need to review our Social Care system. Articles like this from the BBC are absolutely spot on.
What is most important is that words like "urgent" are being used, and the suggestion is that proposals will be published in spring.
What none of these articles do is correctly sum up the problem, which is huge concerns from some people as they get older about how the need to fund Social Care will impact on them financially, alongside an extremely difficult financial situation in local Government at a time when our population is aging and therefore demand for social care services is increasing.
In truth the previous Government should have dealt with the issue, but instead chose to put it in the too difficult pile and tried to blame Andrew Lansley when they were exposed. It is an area where the Coalition has not been found wanting - having commissioned for the Dilnott review, the conclusions of which I believe identify much of what is needed to move forwards.
There are other areas which do help in this area, one of which is to be more preventative in our outlook. In particular making sure older people have networks of friends and good social circles is known to have a positive effect on life expectancy and this is an area of work I hope to move further forwards with in Cambridgeshire this year in my role as Lead Member for Adult Services.