A promising start

It seems almost too good to be true that the government has
decided to invest in tackling the recruitment crisis in social

But health minister John Hutton, in the wake of the awareness
campaign launched by Community Care and the Local
Government Association last week, has announced a national
recruitment campaign to start later this year.

As the minister himself said, many of the government’s most
ambitious initiatives will be jeopardised unless the recruitment
crisis abates. So does this now put social care on a par with
nursing and teaching – elevated to the status of
government-championed profession with investment in pay and
conditions as well as advertising?

We don’t yet know. The minister spoke of “local initiatives”,
which could be a welcome acknowledgement of the obvious
responsibility of local authorities to tackle the recruitment
crisis. But where will the balance of responsibilities lie? The
government must finance any campaign to the full, and include in
the campaign a review of pay and conditions in social care.

We must not just wait and see. The lobbying must continue.

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