The latest Government consultation relates to a ‘who pays for care’ argument known as “The Case for Change – Why England Needs a New Care and Support System“. The fact that the system needs overhaul is not in dispute; Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis says himself that if he were devising a health and social care system now, he certainly “wouldn’t start from here”.
But with hundreds of thousands of patients, service users and family carers feeling the pinch of the credit crunch; rising fuel prices affecting care staff and meals on wheels; and social care departments nationally at breaking point, how is this question – arguably the most critical issue affecting public services in years – being asked? A website has been created – and you can find it by clicking on this link.
Local authorities are being asked to “create forums, networks and task groups which involve staff across all sectors, people who use services and carers as active participants in the change process“. A very big ask, you might think. A very large price tag to convene all these groups and ensure fair consultation. But help is at hand – the Government is giving local authorities funding to assist.
How much does Kent County Council, with its forty thousand plus staff, its one and a half million residents and its twelve district councils get?
Five hundred pounds.