The Citizens’ Assembly on Social Care was the first of its kind to be commissioned by parliament in the UK. It builds on the work Involve did with the Constitution Unit on the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit last September. Over two weekends 47 members of the public deliberated on how adult social care in England should be funded long-term. The recommendations will feed into the joint inquiry by the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee. As Dr Rebecca McKee explains, this is another example of how the public are capable of engaging in complex topics and producing well informed and workable recommendations.
How should we pay for social care? This question has been the subject of much debate, with numerous proposals by successive governments, thinktanks, and others being published but never successfully implemented. Although there is consensus on the need for reform, exactly how to do it has fallen into what former Cabinet minister Charles Clarke has labelled the ‘too difficult box’. Later this year the government plans to publish its Green Paper on funding social care for older people. Ahead of this, the Commons Health and Social Care and the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committees are conducting a joint inquiry to develop a cross-party consensus on ideas for reforming the funding of this sector.
The Citizens’ Assembly on Social Care asked the question of how adult social care in England should be funded long-term. Assembly members were asked to look at adult social care for both people of working age and older adults. They reflected on questions such as how much individuals should have to pay themselves, how much should be covered by public funding, and whether personal assets, such as houses, should be included in calculations of what they might be expected to contribute. Continue reading