New blueprint for social care mooted.

A 10-year vision of local government could map out the future
relationship between social services and health and

The ideas are contained in a government pamphlet, which is likely
to be followed by a more detailed document in September and a white
paper next year.

One of the five main areas for consideration is the role of
councils in delivering social care and education and how they
relate to other public services, including health. Developing a
performance framework that is not dependent on central government
but encourages local accountability is also highlighted.

One former social services director said the interaction between
social services and health and education would prove a key
battleground because, within 10 years, most hospitals would be
foundation trusts and most schools would be autonomous

Mike Leadbetter, head of the Practice Learning Taskforce, said the
debate should address council boundaries and whether health bodies,
such as primary care trusts, could be aligned with them.

But he said the ultimate issue would be around funding and
ring-fencing. “The government wants councils to spend a set amount
on social services while councils want the freedom to spend budgets
on what they want. How do you square that circle?”

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