‘Leave partnerships intact’, directors say

Social care leaders have warned the government not to allow council reorganisation to disrupt social services and partnerships with the NHS.

Last week, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister announced it would consult on whether remaining two-tier areas, where services are split between county and district councils, should be reorganised into unitary authorities.

Association of Directors of Social Services president Julie Jones said: “The one thing you can be sure of is that structural change slows you down in terms of implementing delivery plans. It makes partnership working very difficult.”

With primary care trusts being reorganised, partnerships between PCTs and councils, which are at the heart of the health and social care white paper, face disruption should the ODPM back unitaries.

In particular, new coterminous partnerships, brought about by the current NHS reorganisation, could be broken up by boundary changes to existing county councils.

The ODPM, which remains undecided on the issue, will hold a series of events in each of the regions for council leaders.


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