Exclusive: NHS chief warned not to cut social care jobs


The deputy chief inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate
has admonished NHS chief executive Nigel Crisp over his plans to
cut social care jobs within the department by two-thirds, Community
Care has learned, writes Sally Gillen and Lauren

Averil Nottage’s e-mail, leaked to Community Care by
a department of health source, was sent earlier this month, less
than two months after the chief inspector Denise Platt publicly
backed Crisp’s plans to re-organise the department despite
fears from the sector that the new structure would sideline social

In her e-mail, Nottage said she was “appalled at the
implications of these arrangements for social care”,
highlighting the impact of such “ill-considered
actions” on the department’s relationship with the
social care sector.

Nottage said the 100 posts allocated to the director of care
services under the restructure represented a loss of 200 social
care policy posts compared with current levels. This would be on
top of the loss of SSI staff, who will be moved out of the doh and
into the new Commission for Social Care Inspection by April

The department is believed to have an overall target to reduce
staff numbers within the department by one third. The
disproportionate cuts proposed within the social care division will
confirm fears voiced by many in the sector when the restructure was
first announced in March that social care’s profile within
the doh would be reduced.

“The proposals suggest a cut of about two-thirds –
far greater than the sorts of levels to be achieved overall,”
Nottage said. “It gives an overwhelming message to those
staff and the external world that the department does not consider
that these services (social care) matter”.

At the time, Association of Directors of Social Services
president David Behan said he was concerned that the changes, which
would see the department spilt into three divisions by October
2004, none of which would be headed by a professional with a social
care background, could see “social care become overpowered by

A doh source added: “Over things like hospital discharge,
you can already see how the NHS agenda can hijack what is important
in social care.”

Crisp was due to meet with 60 people from within the doh and
from local government this week to discuss the restructure.

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