The pace of government can at
times feel interminably slow, and at other times to move at the speed of light.
Over the last few weeks we have got used, reluctantly, to the notion that once
again the Green Paper for Older Peoples social care reform had been delayed to
the long drawn out Autumn, and that this has an inevitable domino effect on the
timescales within which future change can happen.
However, rewind to Monday
night last week, and we can also see quite how quickly government can move when
it needs to! Within the space of a few hours, we had two new ministerial
appointments that have a direct impact on the world of care and support.
The first of these is the
appointment of Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk as the Secretary of State for
Health and Social Care. His appointment came a few hours after the promotion of
Jeremy Hunt, the longest ever Health Secretary (sic) to the position of Foreign
Secretary. Matt Hancock has come to the position from the Department of Media
and Culture, where he held a brief which focussed on Digital and Technology.
There has been much made of
his true passion for this area, (the only Minister with an app etc…) and it would appear he has got stuck straight
into work with DHSC to understand how things are progressing in the technology
arena. He has also demonstrated some early interest in the world of social care
– and if his tweets are an indicator of intent – then it is good to see him
promoting key messages from the Care Minister about the importance of the social care workforce – alongside his messages
of love for the NHS.
It is hoped he will make some
statement prior to recess that will give us a clearer picture of his ambitions
for the portfolio.
In addition to a change in
Health and Social Care, we also have a new Housing Minister. The never ending
merry go round of Housing Ministers sees the arrival of the third minister
within 13 months. Dominic Raab, the previous encumbant, has taken up the mantle
of Brexit Secretary – and we now have Kit Malthouse, MP for North West
Hampshire, taking up the Housing post.
As we are still waiting for
the government response to the consultation on supported housing reform,
alongside launching the consultation on sheltered rent – there will be much to
grapple with for the new minister, and it is hoped he is around long enough to
move some of these agendas forward.
This week also saw the
departure of Sir David Behan, the CEO of the Care Quality Commission. David is
to be succeeded by Ian Trenholm, who takes up the position at the end of July.
Prior to leaving, he shared his thoughts on leadership which can be found in
his detailed blog here.
Alongside his personal thoughts on leadership, his final commitment as CEO was to launch a collection of inspirational leadership from across the health social care sector. This continues the CQC focus on driving improvement and includes some excellent tributes to the everyday leaders and their defining acts of leadership across the social care sector - ready the care stories here.