I've visited eight adult social care departments this year, and talked with front line staff in all of them.
There is significant speculation that there will be a sudden surge of outsourcing across local and central government over the next 3 years. Recently, LGC reported that a survey of London Councils identified that 75% of councils were considering some form of outsourcing to the private sector. ‘Considering’ of course is a broad term, but there is no doubt that my regular conversations with key market players are taking a more optimistic turn of late. As a client side advisor, my job is to get the best deal for my clients. I want to find the best companies, the most innovative solutions, the healthiest balance sheets and the top personnel the market can offer, in order to eliminate risk and ‘guarantee outcomes’.
So talk of a surge bothers me. The services market takes a little time to adapt to new market conditions, and whilst capacity will probably grow to match, key factors such as price, choice and quality may suffer for the clients whose interests I protect. In other words I believe we could – probably about a year from now – see a sellers’ market.
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