Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith told local
government leaders that he could not promise extra resources for
social services under a Conservative administration.
Responding to questions from delegates, Duncan Smith said he
could not guarantee extra money, but pledged to free up existing
resources by tackling what he referred to as the overlap between
health and social services.
Duncan Smith said that the occurrence of “bed-blocking” at a
time when care homes were being forced to close was proof of the
absence of joined-up thinking on health and social care policy.
He said that both sectors would benefit from redirecting the
money spent on hospital beds for people medically fit for discharge
to extra places in care homes.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy told
delegates the only way to overcome recruitment difficulties in the
public sector might be to offer workers better pay deals and more
flexible working practices.
Kennedy also called for councils to be given greater powers to
raise more money locally to tackle public sector recruitment
problems and fund health initiatives.