Independence Day: Striving for Independence in your old age

Peter Elms

“We hold this truth to be self-evident, that the Dilnot Review appears to have come up with a set of recommendations that has political, third sector and industry support”.

Yesterday I attended Independence Day, a well organised event at Westminster Hall Conference Centre, whose focus was on ‘striving for independence in your old age’. Dilnot’s recommendations seemed to have the support of both the floor and the health care experts on stage.

So what has been the secret of the Dilnot Review’s success (so far)?

From a PR perspective, the review’s masterstroke has been its ability to gain momentum and support prior to its release. A series of well timed ‘leaks’ of its content managed to align a number of high profile charities behind the recommendations, coupled with a review process that actively sought to engage with every necessary stakeholder. This is no mean feat, the release of any review is usually met with a barrage of criticism from all angles; readers will recall there were few defending the recent Defence Review.

It was evident at Independence Day that there may exist the political will to put in action many of Dilnot’s recommendations. Emily Thornberry MP (Shadow Health & Social Care Minister) and the Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP (Chair of the Health Select Committee) shared both a stage and a positive outlook: Emily Thornberry MP put her position succinctly; ‘as long as it is fair and sustainable- we are up for it’.

We shall have to wait and see if the Dilnot Review leads to the revolution in Social Care that many in attendance at Independence Day hope it will be.

Peter Elms with Emily Thornberry MP

Peter Elms and Emily Thornberry MP (Shadow Health & Social Care Minister) at the Independence Day event 05/07/11

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