THE ONLINE PORTAL SHOULD BE THE GATEWAY TO A SINGE MARKET OF SUPPORT WHICH EXPANDS AS AN INDIVIDUAL’S NEEDS CHANGE.
Local Authorities have a responsibility to facilitate a robust and sustainable local care market for all residents whether self funding or meeting their care needs with state support.
Digital platforms can provide a way to facilitate and champion the local care market allowing for maximum reach at an affordable price.
Digital marketplaces can make things more accessible for the user presenting a one-stop shop where individuals select and purchase goods and services as and when they need them. The offer from the voluntary sector can be better co-ordinated and promoted through online directories and e-market places that promote this community-led support as the best option before any exploration of formal Social Care support is required.
To underpin this, the local authority should ensure that there is a list of quality assured and kite marked services available for both Local Authority funded and self-funded individuals. There is further scope for Local Authority websites to learn from and build on the success of systems like ‘Check-a-Trade’ and Trading Standards to add an extra element of self-review by service users that can help inform customers and promote the most valued services.
A digital platform can be proactively used to bring the whole market together to offer a seamless and collective offer of trusted services and support available to order and buy as required.
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* What is next practice?
Next practice’ is a commitment to a process not an end product. In moving from ‘best practice’ to ‘next practice’ we acknowledge that the best solutions come from development, not imposition. It is a process of development that never stops.