Milburn offers support for social care staff

Health secretary Alan Milburn told the Labour party
conference people working in social services are doing some of the
most difficult jobs, and should not be named and shamed when things
go wrong, writes Sally Gillen.

Responding to a question about how he would address the low
morale of social services staff, Milburn admitted that press
coverage of social services errors was partly to blame for the
sector’s poor image and had affected recruitment.

But he said: “We can’t have a situation where we are
naming and shaming workers when they are trying to help

His comments, made during a question and answer session, won a
round of applause from delegates, who also welcomed his promise to
raise the status of social services so that it would no longer be
the “poor relation to health”.

But Milburn’s criticism of naming and shaming individuals
was in stark contrast to his own hard-hitting speech to the
national social services conference last year, in which he gave a
list of the 14 worst-performing social services departments in the

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