For those of us getting used to new policy announcements on a daily basis the tap is about to be turned off for a period! Theresa May has just called for a snap general election, the full text of her statement can be found here. Clearly a break in Snowdon has given her some valuable thinking time, as she has this morning met with her cabinet and then come straight out and announced this shock decision.
The constitutional followers out there will have a much better idea of what precedent this is likely to set, but my understanding of the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011
is that parliament needs to be dissolved 25 working days before the election, which on my count is the 3rd of May 2017. This means that government will continue to function, however, parliament will cease to operate. We do indeed live in interesting times.
What will this mean for social care?
Well, of course, alongside the dissolution of Parliament, we will also almost immediately move into a period of Purdah. This is a period where civil servants activities are restricted in order to sustain impartiality and inappropriate use of official resources new guidance on purdah for this election has not yet been published but the guidance for the previous election can be found here
This is a critical time for social care, and there was beginning to be some key areas of government interest which may be impacted firstly by Purdah and the dissolution of Parliament and then of course by the outcome of the election and these include:
Green Paper on funding of Adult Social Care
Government response to CLG select committee inquiry into funding of adult social care
Green Paper on the future funding of supported housing
Cross Party talks on adult social care
However, what an election also brings are the possibilities of manifestos and electoral commitments, and it will be a key opportunity, albeit requiring a rapid response, for bodies such as NCF to get key messages out to all the parties to ensure that they understand the needs and requirements of adult social care. We will continue with our work with the Care Provider Alliance, Care and Support Alliance and the Cavendish Coalition, to influence on key decisions. An election now is also likely to lead to a renewed fix term parliament, which will take any future government to 2019 and the Brexit negotiations, decisions about the future of the UK and beyond to 2022. This may also mean a new Spending Review for later this year, and in essence an acceleration of work to be done on funding the future of social care.
8th June less than 50 days until the UK once again decides.