Carol Tozer seconded from Cornwall Council to DH

Cornwall director of adult social care Carol Tozer is leaving the council to take up a six-month secondment at the Department of Health.

Tozer, who has been in post since 2003, leaves after a series of critical reports on learning disability services put the county under intense national scrutiny.

A Cornwall Council spokesperson confirmed Tozer would be working at the DH to develop new performance indicators for adult social care but declined to comment on whether she would be returning to her post.

She has also stepped down from her role as co-chair of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services’s learning disabilities network, though Adass would not comment on the reasons behind the move.

Learning disability woes

In July 2006, an investigation revealed widespread abuse of people with learning disabilities in services run by Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust and the council was criticised in its role as the lead agency for protecting vulnerable adults. On the same day the investigation report was published, Steven Hoskin, a man with learning disabilities, was murdered after being abused by his housemates.

Cornwall’s adult social care rating dropped from a two to one star in November 2006.

Two reviews into Hoskin’s case published last December highlighted failings by agencies including adult social care. One of the reviews, by consultant Ray Jones, found Tozer had not been informed of Hoskin’s murder until a year after it occurred.

The latest report from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, published in April, found the council was struggling to improve learning disability services.

Senior assistant director Dave Richards will be acting director of adult social care.

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