Re-ablement was not a term I had come across until reading Peter Beresfords fascinating piece about the moral imperatives driving the coalition governments welfare reform. Professor Beresford thinks the government’s aim is “to get people off benefits, not only to get them into paid work – any paid work – but also to encourage their moral regeneration”. Millionaire and Minister Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith leads this crusade which equates poverty with moral turpitude and is determined that the ‘scroungers’ who are such a ‘burden’ on the state whether they are claiming benefits by pretending to be disabled or are avoiding work or have been so lax as to let themselves become unmarried parents are all put back on the path of righteousness – or else. Iain Duncan-Smith, who briefly lead of the Conservative party until they got fed up with him, is famous both for Betsygate and for his great enthusiasm for the Iraq war which must fully qualify him to mend the broken society.
Oh, re-ablement in case you were still wondering, is the buzz word for providing adults in need of care with a short sharp dose of about six weeks “re-ablement” once they are back home from hospital following, for instance a stroke, before leaving them to sink or swim as they may. It’s said to be very good as well as, surprise, surprise, cheaper than providing a long-term domiciliary service to meet long-term need.