I’ve learnt how we all are attached to the place we live, and that this insight should be at the centre of how we organise public services.
The experience of the COVID-19 crisis has shown us that people – old and young – want to be connected to where they live. You can’t disconnect people from place, and any public service that forgets that will fail its users.
One of the contradictions of organising public services is that there is always an inclination to focus on the ‘system’, when services are about the experience of individuals – all of whom are unique, and all of which happen in a particular city, town or village. References to ‘place’ discussed in public service often sound academic and abstract, when the whole point is that it isn’t. It’s where you live, love, work and play.
Take some examples. People want to get to know their local GP, people want to be cared for somewhere that is close to my family and friends, people want to feel they are contributing as part of their community.
When it comes to planning the recovery from COVID-19, public services must be orientated around the places we live and not be some remote bureaucracies that we can’t and don’t want to identify with. And when it comes to integrating services and prioritising investment in services – particularly around the future of health and social care – place really needs to matter much more.
To learn more about our work on health and social care integration contact John email@example.com.
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