Less than half the respondents to Community Care‘s
exclusive survey this week were aware of the joint health and
social care white paper. While health white papers often make it
into the national media, social care falls off their radar unless
it is to portray the profession negatively. Even so, it’s abysmal
that the government appears to have failed to even sell it to the
social care sector itself.
So it came as no surprise that a large majority of respondents
believe that the government values social care staff less than
health professionals. They also believe health professionals do not
understand the role and core values of social work, with cultural
differences still cited as the main hindrance to better
relationships between the two.
The question is whether government will do anything about both
these points. It may be too late for the government to reconsider
and bring in a stand-alone social care white paper, as some wish,
but it’s not too late to ensure that respondents’ fears that the
joint paper may diminish the role of social care are not realised.