Councils slash social care managers to save £35m

Three Tory-led London boroughs will slash management posts across children's and adults' services by creating single departments for both, as part of moves to save £35m.

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Three Tory-led London boroughs will slash management posts across children’s and adults’ services by creating single departments for both, as part of moves to save £35m.

Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea councils plan to appoint directors of children’s and adults’ services to cover all three boroughs by 2012, as part of broader plans to merge their services set out today.

Of the £35m savings earmarked for the whole project by 2014-15, over half will come from children’s (£9.5m) and adults’ (£9.9) services, much of this from slashing management costs across both services.

They propose to appoint a single director of children’s services across Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea by this spring, with Westminster integrated into the arrangements by September 2011. There will also be a merged fostering and adoption service and a single local safeguarding children board, though local management of safeguarding teams will be retained.

Their plans for adult social care include integration with the NHS as well as across the three boroughs, with the single director of adult social care commissioning health and social care alongside GP consortia, backed by a single commissioning support organisation.

Adult social care staff will be transferred to a merged provider organisation with NHS community staff, which will include social work and safeguarding services, as well as direct provision of care.

Stephen Greenhalgh, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: “Our taxpayers expect us to squeeze every pound and penny to reduce unnecessary costs. We are not creating one ‘super council’, we are creating three slimmer councils with combined resources and expertise. Our residents should not notice the difference except in areas such as adult social care where there will be a marked improvement because we are able to fully integrate health and social care.”

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