Registration fiasco may leave social care staff unable to work next April

Thousands of social workers could find themselves unable to work
come next April because they have failed to register with the
General Social Care Council in time.

However, in what is indicative of the confusion surrounding
registration, councils and the GSCC are blaming each other for the

With the deadline for applications just five weeks away, GSCC
figures published last week show only one-third of the 44,000
eligible social workers have either registered or sent in

Although the GSCC admitted the figures were a few weeks out of
date, it is concerned that too many social workers are waiting
until the 1 December deadline.

A spokesperson warned: “It is not safe to get all forms in by 30
November because there are risks these won’t be processed in time.
We urge people not to wait until the last minute but we expect that
to happen, leading to delays and backlogs.”

Local authorities blame the GSCC for failing to send application
forms to them quickly enough and to explain effectively the need to
stagger applications. Community Care has also identified flaws in
the GSCC’s figures, with some councils claiming higher registration
rates or fewer workers than GSCC estimates.

A statement from Rotherham said it had registered a quarter of its
309 eligible staff – not 1.8 per cent of 840 staff, as reported by
the GSCC. Leicester said it had applied for or registered 75 per
cent of its 415 staff, not 6.5 per cent.

Wayne Coombe, head of human resources at Staffordshire, said that,
although it had applied for or registered only four of its 662
social workers, it had liaised with the GSCC over a “managed
process” to registration and was confident of meeting the deadline.

Worcestershire blamed its showing – only eight of its 425 staff
have registered or applied – on the fact that it had received forms
only six weeks ago.

Even Hampshire, which piloted registration last year, found it a
struggle and one-third of applications are still outstanding.

A GSCC spokesperson said some councils had “really made it happen”
by showing good leadership and management.

She said the organisation’s data were provided by the councils.
By Derren Hayes

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