The distinction between self and state funding will become “meaningless” under future government policy, Alexandra Norrish, head of social care strategy at the Department of Health, said. Norrish, one of the authors of the forthcoming green paper on the funding of long-term care, told directors that Whitehall officials were considering models such as the co-payment system, as set out by Derek Wanless in his 2006 report. There is still no date set for the publication of the paper or the consultation, although Norrish said these would begin shortly.
Nursing home staff
The government’s forthcoming national dementia strategy will prioritise training for nursing home staff, experts said. Jenny Owen, vice-president of Adass and Sube Banerjee, professor of mental health and ageing at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, who are co-chairing the strategy, are examining a proposal to appoint a staff member in each nursing home who is responsible for good practice. The strategy will also look at early diagnosis and changing attitudes towards the condition among the public and professionals.
Skills for Care pledged to help local authorities develop the workforce to cope with the personalisation agenda. Nadra Ahmed, vice-chair of the strategic workforce body for social care, said studies were under way into the potential impact of proposed changes to work practices on the sector’s 1.4m staff in England. She said: “We will examine what works and what doesn’t work, from the director to the finance manager to the front-line worker.”