Please put the axe away

    Are the days of the General Social Care Council numbered? Its
    name pops up on a list of 42 so-called “arm’s length” bodies
    facing the chop as part of a Department of Health cost-cutting
    drive. If the list is halved it will save around half a billion
    pounds – a sum not to be sneezed at.

    But we urge health secretary John Reid to wield his axe
    elsewhere. And we challenge any suggestion that the functions of
    the GSCC could be merged under an expanded Health Professions
    Council.

    Social care staff have a role and an ethos not shared by the lab
    technicians, radiographers and chiropodists currently registered
    with the HPC. And surely the social care workforce – some 1.2
    million people strong – merits a regulator of its own?

    Health minister Stephen Ladyman told the audience at
    Community Care LIVE that “professional boundaries might be
    important to you, but they are not to service users.” Fair point,
    but there’s a danger that if all staff are lumped in together
    as part of some amorphous mass, professional identity will be
    lost.

    Let’s give the GSCC a chance to show it can do its job…
    to promote standards and protect the public. Scrapping it now would
    be crazy.

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