Tepid support for duty to co-operate

The case for a duty on public bodies to co-operate in local strategic partnerships won only lukewarm support in a consultation, despite strong social care backing.

The Association of Directors of Social Services and the Local Government Association see a duty to co-operate in LSPs, particularly for primary care trusts, as crucial to achieving the health and social care white paper’s aim of integrating care.

Local government minister Phil Woolas told a conference last week that just over half of respondents to the government’s consultation on the future of LSPs backed a duty to co-operate for statutory bodies. However, a significant minority felt participation should be voluntary.

In his speech to the New Local Government Network conference, Woolas promised three-year funding settlements for all of the resource streams that feed into local area agreements, to improve stability.

This followed concerns from social care leaders that PCT support for LAAs would falter because of the NHS financial crisis.


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