‘Fiercely independent’ children’s commissioner gets broad welcome

The appointment of Al Aynsley-Green as the first children’s
commissioner for England could help to increase health
professionals’ engagement in the new children’s services agenda,
campaigners said this week.

Aynsley-Green is currently national clinical director for children
at the Department of Health and is responsible for the Children’s
National Service Framework.

Roger Singleton, chief executive of Barnardo’s, said that
Aynsley-Green’s background could help to bring health closer to
other children’s services. “He brings good credentials in terms of
trying to move health out of its rather separate way of seeing and
doing things,” he said.

Paul Ennals, children’s charity NCB chief executive, also welcomed
the appointment and agreed that it could help to engage health
professionals. He said that Aynsley-Green had an “excellent track
record in championing children and young people,” which was proved
by the NSF.

“He knows where the skeletons are buried in government policy and
he will seek to bring them out.”

Ennals added that like many other charities NCB had expressed
concern about the [lack] of formal powers given to the commissioner
and that this made it vital that a commissioner had been appointed
who would be able to work with the government.

He said that despite Aynsley-Green’s position in the Department of
Health he was “fiercely independent” within it.

Singleton said Aynsley-Green would need to show his independence
quickly. “He has been very much in the heart of government and he
will therefore know government very well and that is an asset but
also it’s going to be very important that at a very early stage he
demonstrates that he will stand independently from government,” he

Carolyne Willow, national co-ordinator of the Children’s Rights
Alliance for England said that Aynsley-Green had always been a
strong supporter of an independent commissioner before the post was

She said that she was confident that he would make the case to
government for a commissioner with stronger powers if he felt he
was unable to adequately stand up for children and young

  • Our question this week asks: Will the children’s
    commissioner for England, Al Aynsley-Green, be sufficiently
    independent to adequately protect the rights of

Vote at www.community care.co.uk

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