Social services directors and local government leaders were left
frustrated after health secretary John Reid spectacularly failed to
answer any of their questions about the future of social
Addressing the national social services conference in Newcastle
upon Tyne, Reid thanked those in the sector for their hard work.
But he shed no light on the impact of the forthcoming public health
white paper or the green paper on adult social care.
He also failed to mention the Children Bill, save for a passing
reference to the need for those who took on the role of director of
adult services to build partnerships with health to provide a
seamless integrated service for service users.
Chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young
people board Alison King said she was not reassured by the lack of
specifics. “We are faced with a wide-ranging agenda in the way we
plan and deliver services. I didn’t hear anything comforting from
John Reid on that side of things.”
Reid said the next phase of the government’s social work
recruitment campaign would be launched this week but it would be
the responsibility of social services directors to champion the
campaign locally. He also trumpeted the success of direct payments
and called for them to be made a top priority for all councils.
While highlighting unprecedented growth in social care funding
since 1997, Reid acknowledged that it had been “outstripped” by NHS