Minister wants radical ideas for care of adults

    Community care minister Stephen Ladyman called on social workers
    to give him radical ideas for reshaping adult services.

    Giving the first keynote speech at Community Care LIVE,
    Ladyman outlined initial plans for creating a vision of adult
    services. The government is consulting the sector and hopes to
    deliver 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
    care.”

    He said social workers and managers in adult services might like
    to consider how to overcome the organisational and structural
    problems in providing person-centred services.

    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.”

    Ladyman insisted, however, that there were “no
    signs” of the government trying to push the social care
    workforce towards health.

    But David Tombs, of 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
    arena”.

    Jonathan Ellis, health and social care manager at Help the Aged,
    said older people’s services could be improved by
    professionals doing more to help older people cope with the
    “daily hassles” of life in order to prevent mild
    depression developing into something more serious.

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