Community care minister Stephen Ladyman called on social workers
to give him radical ideas for reshaping adult services.
Giving the first keynote speech at Community Care LIVE,
Ladyman outlined initial plans for creating a vision of adult
services. The government is consulting the sector and hopes to
deliver a document by late summer.
“I’m keen to listen to radical thoughts so
don’t be afraid of saying the unthinkable,” Ladyman
said. “I want to hear your views because I’m not a
social worker and I don’t know how you see social
He said social workers and managers in adult services might like
to consider how to overcome the organisational and structural
problems in providing person-centred services.
He also called for social services to continue to explore ways
of working more closely with health and housing agencies.
“Services must be seamless. If gaps in services are to be
closed, improved forms of joined-up planning and service delivery
Ladyman insisted, however, that there were “no
signs” of the government trying to push the social care
workforce towards health.
But David Tombs, of the Social Perspectives Network for modern
mental health, warned that social workers were losing their
autonomy and identity and being “swallowed up by the health
Jonathan Ellis, health and social care manager at Help the Aged,
said older people’s services could be improved by
professionals doing more to help older people cope with the
“daily hassles” of life in order to prevent mild
depression developing into something more serious.