Government plea for radical ideas for adult services

The minister, giving the first keynote speech at Community
Live in London today, outlined initial plans for creating
a new vision of adult services. The government is currently
consulting with the sector with a view to delivering a document by
late summer.

“I’m keen to listen to radical thoughts so
don’t be afraid of saying the unthinkable,” Ladyman
said. “I want to hear your views because I’m not a
social worker and I don’t know how you see social

Ladyman said that social workers and managers in adult services
might like to consider how to overcome some of the organisational
and structural problems in providing person-centred services.
“But don’t think too long. Patience is not my strong
point,” he added.

He also called for social services to continue to explore ways
of working more closely with health and housing agencies.

“Services must be seamless. If gaps in services are to be
closed, improved forms of joined up planning and service delivery
are needed.

“Professional boundaries might be important to you, but
they are not to service users.”

But David Tombs, from the Social Perspectives Network for modern
mental health, warned that social workers were losing their
autonomy and identity and being “swallowed up by the health

But Ladyman insisted there were “no signs” of the
government trying to push the social care workforce towards

“For adult social care, I can see the need for other
services such as leisure and transport to get involved. But the
social care workforce is going to have a vital leadership role in

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