Because every community and every local area is different with unique populations who all have different needs, it is vital that social care is a local service, run by councils who are democratically accountable to their residents.
Recent polling shows that the public most trusts councils to make local decisions about services in a local area – selected by 71 per cent of respondents. Similarly, local councillors were selected by 69 per cent of respondents as the individuals most trusted to make decisions about local services.
Councils care passionately about adult social care and are proud of the role they play in supporting and improving people’s lives. With the right level of funding, councils can continue to make a positive difference to people’s wellbeing.
There is a huge amount of impressive work going on across the country with councils constantly trying to improve social care services, despite increasing funding pressures.
That’s important because the public are understandably concerned about achieving a consistent standard of care and preventing a postcode lottery.
Although councils need the flexibility to offer different care to meet the needs of residents, nobody wants to see the quality of service depend on where you live rather than on what you need and want.
But the answer to this isn’t for social care to be provided or managed at a national level. There is little evidence to suggest running services nationally makes them more consistent than services delivered locally – and it could in fact make inequalities worse.