The social care sector has greeted the appointment of Stephen
Ladyman as parliamentary under-secretary of state for community
care with serious reservations.
John Knight, head of external policy at disability charity Leonard
Cheshire, said the appointment of a junior minister to the social
care brief “sends out the wrong signal and reinforces social care’s
position as the poor cousin of the health service”.
Knight fears that Ladyman will struggle to fight social care’s
corner in government “no matter how well he does”.
Ladyman’s portfolio includes adult social services, older people’s
services, carers, children’s health and mental health services,
services for disabled people and people with long-term medical
Doubts about Ladyman’s experience were also expressed by Mervyn
Kohler, head of public affairs at Help the Aged. “He will have to
learn quickly. We aim to meet him soon to ensure that older
people’s services move higher up the political agenda.”
Mental Health Foundation chief executive Andrew McCulloch said he
was concerned about splitting adult mental health services, which
are to be the responsibility of health minister Rosie Winterton,
from the rest of the community care brief.