Care partnership may split in two

The Care Services Improvement Partnership may be split in two, separating its health and social care elements, it has emerged.

A source close to CSIP said social care would come under the Department of Health’s social care directorate, headed by David Behan. Health programmes would report into the regional strategic health authorities under the plan.

CSIP, an arm’s-length section of the Department of Health, was set up in 2005. It brought together a range of DH programmes, including the Valuing People Support Team and the National Institute for Mental Health in England, to implement health and social care policy in each of England’s regions.

Many of the initiatives cut across health and social care, though there is an adult social care programme, headed by former Barking and Dagenham Council social services director Julia Ross.

Part of the reason for the proposed split, the source claimed, was that the DH’s health and social care elements both wanted to get hold of the £40m tied up in CSIP.

Behan said 2007-8 was a “transitional year” for CSIP and that a review of the partnership was set to take place from April, reporting in December, with firm plans drawn up by April 2008.

He said some councils had told the DH that they were unclear about the department’s regional activities and that the review would ensure there was no duplication of services.

Behan said: “We need to change the way we operate.

“It’s about how best we can strengthen the way the department works at a regional level.”

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