Conference debates future of social care

The Department of Health should be renamed the Department of Health
and Social Care as part of an overhaul of the image of the sector,
a departmental conference report proposes.

A desire not to see the adult and children’s workforces split into
separate entities also emerges in the report as a major concern of
delegates at the DoH conference on the social care workforce, which
took place in May.

Fears that the social care sector is fragmenting led to calls for a
“supergroup” of professional bodies to speak with a “unified
voice”, set regional pay rates and establish concordats.

Many delegates wanted control of social care to be taken away from
councils: some wanted to replace it with an NHS-style control
structure, others wanted councils to retain only a human resources

Proposals to improve recruitment included apprenticeship schemes
for 16- to 18-year-olds and paying student grants or fees in return
for a period working in the sector.

The Social Care Agenda: Developing a New National Agenda

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