Social care has been one of the most controversial parts of the Conservative policy offer in this election, and is one of the major factors cited by those who credit Labour’s resurgence in the polls.
But there’s more to the Tory policy than just the funding reforms. The manifesto commits to improving end-of-life care, including what may be the first promise to address the “spiritual needs” of voters in some years. Here’s the section in full:
“We will improve the care we give people at the end of life. We will fulfil the commitment we made that every person should receive attentive, high quality, compassionate care, so that their pain is eased, their spiritual needs met and their wishes for their closing weeks, days and hours respected.”
Taken together with other pledges to “empower patients” and give them “a greater role in their own treatment”, as well as re-stating the commitment to “a truly seven-day health service”, this looks like a concerted effort to make Britain’s care system more consumer-focused, in contrast to Labour’s producer-interest approach.