2 min read

Editorial Monday 7 January 2013: Waiting for Dilnot, or "Doctor! Doctor! I think I'm running the country!"

So, after a weekend of speculation about what the Francis Public Inquiry Report will say (which brought us precisely no new information), today we got the Coalition Government's Mid-Term Review.


Click here for details of 'Francis is coming. Look busy!', the new issue of subscription-based Health Policy Intelligence.


It is notable for the absence of the long-since-leaked £75,000 cap on lifetime contribution to long-term care in response to the Dilnot Commission's Review.

Indeed, the section on health and social care blandly says merely that it "will support its principles".

Now, the rumour mill grinds out a tale that the Coalition plans to seize back the news agenda by announcing a policy a day for the next couple of weeks.

So it may not be too long until we hear whether £75,000 is indeed the level. The Telegraph has been a fairly favoured Treasury leak-receptacle for some time.

This would be interesting, since as Labour's shadow health minister Liz Kendall pointed out on Twitter, page 33 of the Dilnot Report states unambiguously, "It is possible that the cap could be set at a different level – either a little higher or lower. However, we do not think it should be set in excess of £50,000 or below £25,000. Anything above £50,000 could mean people with lower incomes and lower wealth would not receive adequate protection; anything below £25,000 would suffer the same drawbacks as full social insurance, jeopardising our principles of sustainability and resilience. In our view, moving outside the range of £25,000 to £50,000 could mean that the overall reforms would fail to satisfy our criteria on fairness and sustainability".

The press conference that the PM and Deputy PM used to launch their half-time report on how well they've done was, erm, interesting.

Mr Cameron spoke of "countries that will sink and countries that will swim". Of countries that will lilo, pedalo, windsurf, scuba dive and bodyboard, he was frustratingly silent. The financial markets need this information to assess the UK's AAA rating viability, surely?

Nautical metaphors continued, as he went on to speak of the "sheet-anchor issues" and "full steam ahead". There followed a Hamlet-style mixture of metaphors (think "take arms against a sea of troubles"), as the PM assured us that "the economy is healing" and talked of "necessary surgery on the banks".

Wonderful stuff! In other words:

Doctor! Doctor! I think I'm running the country!

Take a Prozac suppository, and call me in the morning if it persists.

We didn't quite get "splicing the mainbrace of open heart surgery on the ship of state navigating choppy blue waters into any qualified provider rehab", but it can only be a matter of time.