Ladyman throws out demands for a more thorough review of social care

    Calls for a government-commissioned Wanless-style review of
    social care have been dismissed by the community care minister.

    Stephen Ladyman said such a review would be “condemned to fail”
    if it took place before the green paper on adult services was
    published.

    He asked: “Since we have not yet published the green paper how
    can we have that process? How can we cost social care when we do
    not yet know its shape?”

    He told delegates at the annual conference of training body
    Topss England last week that there would be four times as many
    people needing care in 2020, many of whom would have complex
    needs.

    “It is not realistic to think that four times the people will
    mean four times the cost. Having Sir Derek [Wanless] tell us that
    will not make it any more realistic or affordable.”

    But he added that Wanless’s review of services for older people,
    commissioned by the King’s Fund, would no doubt help the
    government.

    The green paper, which Ladyman said had been postponed because
    the prime minister wanted to be involved in its launch, will be
    published next month.

    Ladyman said the sector should look to the disability strategy,
    published by the cabinet office
    last month and which promotes ideas such as personalised budgets,
    and “expect more of the same” in the green paper.

    Ladyman also told the conference that a social care degree would
    be introduced if it had enough support from the sector.

    Social workers made up a small proportion of the workforce and a
    course for social care would “reflect that difference”, he said.
    “My personal view is that, if I was working in social care, I would
    not want to have to be a social worker to be qualified to degree
    [level].”

    Topss England chief executive Andrea Rowe said that the sector
    needed to consider whether people should be cared for by someone
    with a degree and how the sector could ensure that a social care
    degree would not split the workforce.

    • Ladyman wrote to social services directors this week thanking
      them for their “active engagement” in the Department of Health’s
      recent work, and promising to meet them in April to “really get
      into the issues which are of interest to you”.

     

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