Reforming Britain’s dysfunctional social care system has long been a postponed priority – recognised by ministers as desperately requiring recalibration, but too daunting for them to grasp the nettle. There was always an excuse for tackling it sometime during the next parliament. Yoked in tandem with it is the NHS, a curate’s egg combining superb clinical care and professional dedication that, as the pandemic demonstrated, can extend to personnel sacrificing their lives – all undermined by serious systemic flaws, aggravated by a fetishisation of an institution that not only needs, but in its own best interests deserves, reform.