Civil servants must study social care

The Department of Health has said that its needs to improve its
knowledge of, and relations with, the social care sector.

In its plan for 2005-6, it lists “giving stronger leadership to the
social care and health systems” as one of six key areas for

This will involve “developing stronger relationships and better
communications with local government and social care” and
“increasing internal awareness and understanding of the social care
context and implications”.

There were no equivalent objectives set for the NHS.

The DH has agreed to second a civil servant to the Association of
Directors of Social Services for a year. In minutes to last month’s
inaugural meeting of the DH’s Social Care Forum, this was described
as an opportunity to “learn the language” of the sector and
strengthen links.

The admission follows claims last week from Andrea Rowe, chief
executive of Skills for Care, that the department’s social care
knowledge base had been “decimated”.

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