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08th April 2013

The first casualty of war on welfare is compassion

Overhaul of benefits system

The government reforms to welfare and the benefit system were fully dusted off last week. Among the changes, the ‘bedroom tax’ hits those receiving housing benefit living in under occupied homes; more people will lose exemption from council tax and cuts to the legal aid system is going to make it more difficult for people of average means to access justice.

While there may never a good time to reduce welfare payments, the bluntness and heavy handed approach to this overhaul of the benefits system certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Some may interpret it as nothing short of a war on welfare.

The propaganda has openly invoked the principle of ‘divide and rule’. Although there has been some pulling back from the rhetoric which pitches ‘strivers’ against ‘shirkers’, this narrative is firmly established. Encapsulated in the observation that some of those out of work are as well or better off than those in work, the emphasis of the message has evolved into one of unfairness; however, the initial seed was well sown and the principle remains ill disguised.

Compassion a casualty of society’s hardening attitude

Perhaps inevitably in such a poisonous climate, it is clear that attitudes within society seem to have hardened. It seems that one of the real casualties here is compassion - society appears to have become a less caring place with a significantly reduced tolerance to the plight of those that are less fortunate.

The disabled are a case in point; from the heady days of last year’s celebration of disability at the Paralympics London, 2012, Monday 8th April 2013 sees the scrapping of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Replacing it with the personal independence payment, it is a stated ministerial intent to trim one-third off the £13bn DLA bill.

If people take their cues from those around them, with the knock on and trickle down effect it’s a certainty that a culture of uncaring will propagate throughout society. The question for the health and social care sector is how do we uphold high standards of care in a society where compassion is a casualty?

QCS compliance management puts high care standards in reach

Realistically, we may not be able to legislate against an uncaring society; however, we are able to counter the worst excesses of its ill effects by adhering closely to the CQC’s regulatory framework. QCS compliance management provides the policies and procedures that enable adult health and social care providers to ensure staff are in no doubt about the standards and practices that are expected from them as care workers.

This enshrines care standards putting their achievement within the reach of every service provider. Correspondingly, this puts access to high quality services within reach of every service user, regardless of the attitudes which shape society.

Click here to register for a free trial of QCS compliance management and see how CQC compliance and the achievement of high care standards are interwoven into the system.

Click here to read the opinion piece by Ian Birrell ‘All we can agree on is that welfare’s in a state’ at

Topics: QCS

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