The Department of Health has admitted that its needs to improve
its knowledge of social care and its relations with the sector,
writes Mithran Samuel.
In its forward plan for this year, it lists “giving
stronger leadership to the social care and health systems” as
one of six key areas for improvement.
This will involve “developing stronger relationships and
better communications with local government and social care”
and “increasing internal awareness and understanding of the
social care context and implications”.
There were no equivalent objectives set for the NHS.
The DH has agreed to second a civil servant to the Association
of Directors of Social Services for a year. In minutes to last
month’s inaugural meeting of the DH’s social care
forum, this was described as an opportunity to “learn the
language” of the sector and strengthen links.
The admission follows claims last week from Andrea Rowe, chief
executive of Skills for Care, that the department’s social
care knowledge base had been “decimated”.
The plan is available from www.dh.gov.uk