Scie must be strong and independent, government told

The incoming Social Care Institute for Excellence must be
“strong and independent”, and build effective partnerships with
other national bodies, according to results of the department of
health’s consultation on the quality strategy for social care,
writes Lauren Revans.

The views on the strategy, which was published in August, reveal
that the concept of Scie is seen as “very positive”, and is thought
to represent “a rare opportunity to provide a national framework
for quality”.

The majority of the 260 organisations, which responded to the
government’s quality strategy, supported the use and dissemination
of research findings as a key role for Scie, calling for it to
“summarise and synthesise” and make life-long learning “an on-going
objective for all staff”.

Additional aims suggested for the new organisation, due to be
set up by the end of the summer, include a role in promoting or
lobbying for change and strengthening the status of social

However, some respondents warned against Scie becoming too
ambitious. “The clearer the roles, the better focused Scie would
be,” they argued. There was also debate about whether Scie should
be enabling and advisory or directive and authoritative.

The consultation results reveal “universal support” among
respondents for re-registration and for linking re-registration to
updating of knowledge and practice.

Health minister John Hutton confirmed in March that a
requirement for re-registration, including a need for continued
professional development, would be set out by the General Social
Care Council when it comes into force in October.

Hutton also announced the introduction of a three-year degree
programme – an option “overwhelmingly supported” during the
consultation process.

However, respondents criticised the lack of clarity in the
strategy about post graduate entry and what the third year would
actually entail. They also called for training to reflect recent
changes, including increasing links with health.

Respondents said the principles of the quality strategy needed
to be extended and applied to the independent sector, and that more
emphasis should be placed on the needs of the entire social care
workforce rather than just the social work workforce.



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