Kent chief predicts era of fewer but better paid professionals

There will be fewer social care professionals in the future, but
they will be paid more, Kent’s social services director predicted
last week.

Peter Gilroy described the gradual “civilianisation” of the
workforce in his area as taking on more non-qualified staff. He
added that a key part of Kent’s strategy was the introduction of
self-assessment by clients, avoiding the need for staff visits.

“That has implications for the number of practitioners you employ –
you might need less,” Gilroy told a session on the future of social

Self-assessments and other initiatives, such as purchase cards to
buy services, would move the balance of power in favour of clients,
he said. “It’s going to change the way the public perceive how we

Some of his staff had reservations about plans for radical change.
He said: “They say to me ‘you can’t do that’ but when you get
underneath that they are really saying ‘what does it mean for me
and my future?’.”

Employers must make it clear they value their staff and will look
after them, he said.

Gilroy emphasised it was no use trying to provide a quality service
using large numbers of agency staff. It was important to build an
experienced team “and pay them well if you want them to do the

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