How we fund social care is one of those questions that most people agree needs a different answer, but few people can agree what it should be.

It is an issue that will impact us all, whether as current or future recipients of care, or taxpayers. Whether privately funded or state funded, insurance options or something in between — the one thing that politicians can agree on is that social care funding is an important but difficult issue to resolve.

This is why we are pleased to announce that Involve is supporting two Parliamentary committees to hold a citizens’ assembly to consider the best way of funding adult social care.

Citizens’ assemblies are useful for situations like this, where there is an element of political deadlock. They allow for an in depth exploration of not just what a representative sample of the population think, but also why they think it – and what choices or trade-offs they make to reach a workable decision.

The Citizens’ Assembly on Social Care is part of the inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care being carried out by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee. The assembly’s recommendations will feed directly into the committees’ inquiry, as well as being published in a standalone report.  This is the first time that parliamentary committees have used a citizens’ assembly, or similar large-scale deliberative method, to inform their work. It sits alongside wider efforts, supported by Involve, to improve the way parliamentary committees engage during their inquiries.

As Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, says: “If this proves helpful I hope citizens’ assemblies could be rolled out as a way of helping Parliament to engage with the public ahead of other challenging and complex decisions.”

We’re excited to have this opportunity to work with Parliament to demonstrate the role members of the public can play in tackling some of the most important and politically challenging issues that we face as a country.

Find out more about the Citizens’ Assembly on Social Care in our FAQs.

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