Citizens’ assembly to consider adult social care funding
A ‘citizens’ assembly’ has been commissioned by Parliament to consider the best way to fund adult social care.
The Citizens’ Assembly on Social Care will be formed by 50 people who have been chosen to reflect the makeup of the wider population.
Building on existing public engagement, the assembly is being established as part of the inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care, which is being carried out by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee.
Members of the assembly will hear from expert contributors with different views on how the sector should be funded, before then holding discussions around the issues and reaching a set of recommendations.
The findings and the evidence submitted to the inquiry will then be considered by the committees.
The assembly will be run by Involve, a public participation charity that aims to put people at the heart of decision-making.
Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, said a long-term solution was needed and the assembly would have an opportunity to bring forward ideas that could command consensus.
“The adult social care system is under huge financial pressure and there is an urgent need to come up with a way of funding the system that will ensure it is sustainable,” said Ms Wollaston.
“Many proposals have been put forward, from using national taxation as a new source of funding through to the introduction of a compulsory insurance scheme or extra revenue from inheritance tax, and our inquiry is focused on examining the options and informing the government’s approach.”
Tim Hughes, director of Involve, called how social care is funded “one of the most important questions” facing society.
“Whilst citizens’ assemblies have not previously been used by the UK Parliament, they have been put to effective use in the UK and internationally to explore and build consensus on complex issues,” he said.
“We are pleased to be working with the committees to put the public at the heart of finding a long-term solution to funding social care.”