Pitkeathley to head up care council

    Baroness Pitkeathley is to be the interim chairperson of the
    General Social Care Council, health minister Jacqui Smith announced
    this week.

    Pitkeathley, who chairs the New Opportunities Fund, is not
    seeking appointment to the post but will work alongside GSCC chief
    executive Lynne Berry from 1 September while efforts continue to
    try and recruit a permanent chairperson.

    Fourteen members appointed to the council were also announced.
    They include Terry Bamford, retired director of housing and social
    services at Kensington and Chelsea Council in London; Arthur Keefe,
    chairperson of TOPPS; and June Thoburn, dean of the school of
    social work and psychosocial studies at East Anglia University.

    Former social workers Helen Baker, currently chairperson of
    Oxfordshire Learning Disability NHS trust; and Beverley Prevatt
    Goldstein, project manager at the Black Ethnic Community
    Organisations Network (Becon), have also been named as non-lay
    members along with Lynda Deacon, staff tutor at the Open University
    and an ex-child protection officer and practice teacher with the
    NSPCC. They will join Bill McClimont, director of corporate affairs
    for Nestor Healthcare Group.

    Lay members of the council include former adviser to the NHS
    executive Tanzeem Ahmed, disability equality trainer Christine
    Barton and former NHS chief executive Malcolm Clarke.

    Chairperson of the Council for Disabled Children Harry Marsh and
    Disability Alliance chairperson Susannah Hancock, were also
    appointed.

    Judith Weleminsky, former chief executive of the National
    Council for Voluntary Organisations and GSCC advisory group member
    Ann James complete the council’s lay members.

    Smith said: “Service users and carers will be at the heart of
    the GSCC and the council will therefore have a majority of lay
    members and a lay chairperson.

    “The overall membership of the GSCC reflects a diversity of
    stakeholder interests and the members bring expertise in a number
    of areas which will serve the council in its formative years,” she
    added.

    The chairperson will be paid £21,500 a year for two to
    three days a week while members will receive £5,140 a year for
    two to three days a month.

    The GSCC is a non-departmental body and will work to improve
    quality in social care by promoting high standards in conduct,
    practice and training.

    Its first tasks will be the publication of codes of practice and
    deciding the requirements for registering the workforce. The first
    group to be registered will be social workers and the GSCC is
    expected to open the register in late 2002 or early 2003.

    Meanwhile, appointments to the equivalent body in Scotland, the
    Scottish Social Services Council, were also announced this week.
    Carole Wilkinson, president of the Association of Directors of
    Social Work and director of social work and housing at Falkirk
    Council is to be chief executive.

    The council’s convenor will be Morag Alexander, currently
    chairperson of the early years advisory group of Children in
    Scotland and a board member of Turning Point Scotland.

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