Delayed discharge fines would be scrapped if a Conservative
government was elected, the shadow health minister pledged at the
National Social Services Conference, writes Clare
Tim Loughton said the system of fining local authorities for bed
blocking can only serve to undermine the good working relations
that have been built up between health and social services as
“Peter is robbed to pay Paul regardless of whether Peter is
in a position to do anything about it in the first
“Probably yes, we would repeal it,” Loughton told
delegates at Brighton. “However in two year’s time it
may have got better, although I very much doubt it”.
Loughton said he would also like to see a greater share of the
health budget going to social care because for so long social
services had been “working on the crumbs”.
Loughton slammed the government’s recruitment campaign for
social workers, announced at the social services conference two
years ago, as being “a low key affair, certainly when
compared to the top billing given to the recruitment of doctors,
nurses and teachers”.
While the “finger of blame” is continually pointed
at social workers, “it is difficult to see how the problems
with high vacancy rates can properly be addressed.
There should be more innovations in flexible working, and the
pay gap between social care and health professionals salaries
should be addressed, he said.