Group signs off with forum plea.

Home care should be pushed up the political agenda through a
national forum, according to experts in the sector.

Members of the Joint Advisory Group on Domiciliary Care say a forum
is necessary because no single person has a clear remit for – or
knowledge of – home care in the restructured Department of Health.

The comments were made in a letter to Kathryn Hudson, the DoH’s new
director for social care.

The letter, signed by the group’s former chair, Lesley Bell, says
members support the idea of a national forum which should “reflect
the widest possible range of perspectives”.

The forum would include not only representatives of statutory and
independent provider organisations, but also commissioners, and
delegates from training body Topss England and the Commission for
Social Care Inspection.

“As you know, domiciliary care is the largest single care service,”
the letter says. “It is at the centre of government policy relating
to maintaining independence and supporting people in their own
homes. Yet its voice is rarely heard in comparison to other care

The letter also announces the winding up of the group, which
comprises organisations such as the Association of Directors of
Social Services and the UK Home Care Association.

Bell says: “From the very beginning, it [JAG] has lobbied for the
introduction of regulation for domiciliary care. Now, with the
introduction of registration, regulation and national minimum
standards for domiciliary care it is time to move on.”

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