Care services minister Paul Burstow has delivered an ultimatum to primary care trusts that are hogging money intended for social care.
Last year the government set aside £2bn of the NHS budget to be spent on social care, which was then divided between PCTs.
Responding to accusations from delegates at Community Care Live that some PCTs were not doing this, Burstow said: “Every single primary care trust is meant to transfer that resource [to local authorities]. If I hear of examples of it not happening I will deliver them a swift kick to make sure it does.”
He said PCTs were mandated to invest this money with councils in social care services.
He also gave his strongest indication yet that the government is working towards creating the post of chief social worker.
“I think the chief social worker idea could help to raise the profile of social work in public policy right across government,” Burstow said. “It could be a hugely powerful way of elevating the profile of social work.”
Earlier this month, Eileen Munro’s long-awaited report on reform of child protection recommended appointing a chief social worker to span children’s and adults’ services.
Burstow had previously said the government would consider the creation of such a post if Munro were to recommend it.
Today, Burstow said it was now important to decide what the role would entail. He said the dynamic between a social work leader within government and a College of Social Work outside government needed to be understood before the post was created.
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