Children and vulnerable adults could be put at risk from plans to merge children’s and adults’ services directorates across three councils, Unison has warned.
The union said plans to appoint single directors of children’s services and adults’ services across the London boroughs of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea raised “serious concerns”.
“Having one director with overall responsibility for children’s social and education services across the three councils is a big responsibility. Our fear is that it could undermine the effectiveness of child protection services,” said Unison’s head of local government, Heather Wakefield. “The same is true for adult social services, where many vulnerable elderly people rely on efficient and reliable council help.”
The boroughs issued the plans today, saying they would save £35m by 2014-15, £19m of which would be in children’s and adults’ services, shedding 500 jobs, many of which will be at senior and middle management level.
Other proposals announced today include:
• Transferring adult social care staff to Central London Community Healthcare, a newly created provider of community health services across the three boroughs.
• Integrating commissioning across health and adult social care, led by the director of adult social care, and backed by a single commissioning support unit for adult care and the NHS.
• Establishing integrated fostering and adoption, youth offending and children’s placement services, and a single local safeguarding children board.
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