In future there will be alot fewer social care professionals but
they will be paid a lot more, writes Janet Snell in
That was the vision set out by Peter Gilroy, director of three
star authority Kent, who described the gradual “civilianisation” of
the workforce in his area.
A key plank of Kent’s strategy is the introduction of
web-based self-assessment by clients which means staff do not need
to make a visit.
“That has implications for the number of practitioners you
employ – you might need less,” Gilroy told a packed session
on the future of social care.
Self-assessments plus other initiatives like purchase cards for
buying services (where transactions are all done electronically)
were going to radically alter the balance of power in favour of
clients, he claimed.
Managing the culture was going to be a key challenge and
employers must make it clear they value their staff and will look
after them. Kent used to have a 20 per cent vacancy rate but that
has been cut to four per cent and there is a waiting list of
occupational therapists wanting to work there.
Gilroy stressed it was no use trying to provide a quality
service using large numbers of agency staff. It was important to
build up an experienced team “and pay them well if you want them to
do the business.”