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Care In Your Community

Overview —

Putting Community Hubs at the heart of a National Care Service.

Credits—

Colin Turbett

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The creation of a “National Care Service” is designed to make it seem as if something lasting and good, like the NHS in 1948, might emerge from the chaos of Covid-19. As Common Weal has argued elsewhere, at present this is in name only. This paper is a contribution to what a real National Care Service might look like.

The cover illustration for this paper is reproduced from the Army Bureau of Current Affairs paper Community Centres from 1945.

KEY POINTS

― The notion of resilient communities coping with the pandemic has revived the notion of community hubs as significant centres for public service delivery and voluntary activity.

― Community development as a component of the shaping and delivery of services has a long history, but suffered through the years of politically-contrived public expenditure cuts and austerity.

― Notions of community empowerment already enshrined in law ought to be compatible with the decentralisation of public services and bottom-up community partnership and control.

― Community hubs could offer a physical base for a model of public service based on relationships at local level, local networks and partnerships, and local democracy.

― The National Care Service that Scotland needs could be managed and delivered at local level through community hubs.

― Just as the 1939-1945 World War crisis led to visions of a different kind of world in the peace to follow, so should we be similarly ambitious in our vision of our country post-pandemic.

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