There are few council services that affect so many of us in such a fundamental way as social care.
Our potholed roads are frustrating - and, yes, potentially dangerous - pressure on the number of classroom assistants affects school teachers’ ability to educate our kids, and we all want to see more done to help those who end up living on our streets.
These problems are pressing and important. Social care though is a ‘Cinderella services’ that is often overlooked. Yet for thousands of people it makes the difference between being able to live independently and being stuck ‘bed blocking’ in hospital, struggling daily at home or being forced into care when they wouldn’t otherwise want that.
In Edinburgh, if your need for home care is critical, I have no doubt some means will be found to deliver it without waiting for someone else to die.
The dire financial straits that the service finds itself in, however, means that at some point someone else will have to be refused support as a result.
If you have a care package and it is reviewed, there must be huge pressure on care managers to cut back what you receive. Otherwise, they will have no means of helping the most pressing new cases that will inevitably land on their desk. It is a desperate state of affairs - and it isn’t unique to Edinburgh.