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

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

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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