Doctors’ attitude to reforms criticised

Social services directors this week slammed doctors for failing
to respond to community care changes.

Robin SeQueira, president of the Association of Directors of
Social Services, accused doctors of acting ‘as if the world must go
to them’ over implementation.

The attack followed a survey on the impact of community care by
the British Medical Association, which criticised social services,
and demanded named social workers be attached to surgeries.

The BMA claimed nearly 45 per cent of GPs believed there was
service deterioration. Two thirds said home help services were
being reduced.

‘Social services must be prepared to come to GP surgeries where
all the professionals involved are,’ said Judy Gilley, deputy
chairperson of the BMA’s GP section.

But SeQueira angrily rejected this: ‘It’s wrong for doctors to
point the finger at social services. They have to make an effort to
share and participate more actively in the process of community

Meanwhile, the results of the first self-monitoring of community
care implementation by social services departments along with NHS
surveys showed one-fifth of district health authorities had no
arrangements for monitoring hospital discharges.

The report found many difficulties in joint working,
particularly at the care management level. And some local
authorities admitted that service-focused responses from staff were
hard to eradicate.

A covering letter from the Social Services Inspectorate and the
NHS Executive concedes some councils are struggling to provide
services within available resources.

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