Letter No 8i by Mike Allott:  email | back to directory
31 January 2005

Companies can be caring

Polly Toynbee asks an important question. But she implies it is wrong for local councils to outsource such "sensitive state responsibilities". Why? Is there any evidence that private companies are less likely to fulfil their statutory (or moral) responsibility to those in their care, than are the local authority-run homes?

Indeed, the research paper on the care standards bill (www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2000/rp00-052.pdf) introduced in 2000 to overhaul these regulations, says: "Concerns about malpractice in the state sector, which by its nature is subject to legislation regulating its activities, have also played a part [in the impetus for change]".

The state is not absolving itself. Nor is it creating private "goldmines". Private capital is being attracted into this market because the state has deliberately set a high price - thus ensuring that the "rigour of competition" will deliver the high level of service demanded by this extremely vulnerable sector.

Mike Allott
Eastleigh, Hants