Concerns voiced over plans for care trusts to be included in adult green paper

    Local government leaders have warned ministers not to force
    councils and health bodies together, following reports that
    proposals for care trusts would be included in the adult green
    paper, writes Mithran Samuel.

    With the government reportedly considering imposing a duty on
    councils and the NHS to set up care trusts to commission adult
    services, the Local Government Association said compulsion was
    unnecessary.

    David Rogers, chair of the community well-being board, said:
    “Local government and health are already working together
    successfully to provide integrated care services, outside a
    statutory model…It is not necessary for care trusts to be
    made statutory to integrate social care services.”

     
    Hunter: Local flexibility
    needed

    Association of Directors of Social Services president Tony
    Hunter also called for local flexibility.

    He said: “We are looking for a strong vision [in the green
    paper], very clear outcomes and strong performance management
    frameworks, but with the mechanisms [to deliver these] left to
    localities.”

    It was reported last month that the green paper would propose a
    statutory duty on councils and primary care trusts to co-operate in
    care trusts that would commission but not provide services.

    Existing care trusts, which were introduced on a voluntary basis
    by the Health and Social Care Act 2001, can both commission and
    provide services, though only eight have been set up so far.

    Rogers said the LGA opposed dividing commissioning from
    provision, adding: “It could reduce the range of providers
    and damage the possibility of providing choice in social
    care.”

    It has also emerged that the green paper, which had been
    expected this month, will be published in February, reportedly
    because the government wants it to tie-in with other initiatives on
    adult services.

     

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