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
    education.

    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
    organisations.

    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?”

    The Future of Local Government from www.odpm.gov.uk

     

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