Westminster’s social care commission

It was interesting to read that Westminster City Council is thinking of setting up its own social care commission.

This strikes me as a bad idea for four reasons:

  1. It’s a waste of resources, specifically Officer time in driving the process when they should probably be focusing on implementing or embedding the Putting People First agenda
  2. It’s a bit arrogant to think that Westminster will come up with anything that hasn’t already been thought of elsewhere.
  3. It’s a bit ignorant of the significant information already available in this area, from policy at both national and regional levels through to more management information than you can shake a stick at.
  4. It ignores the lessons of Hampshire’s Commission on Personalisation from November 2008 onwards, the main one of which was actually a question: “Why did Hampshire need its own Commission?”

At the end of the article noting the Commission, the Lead Cabinet member notes that Westminster will be saving £3.9m from the adult social care budget of £89m over the next 3 years. That’s peanuts (4.4% to be precise).

Instead, I’d suggest the resource otherwise diverted to the Commission be prioritised to the transformation work that will inevitably already be happening in adult social care in Westminster. It will save money and resource in the short run, and deliver more savings in the long run than any profile-raising initiative would otherwise do.


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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