The Department of Health is to appoint a board-level director with specific responsibility for social care.
The move is part of a wider shake-up of the DH’s upper echelons, and is designed to strengthen the sector’s position within the department.
Currently, board-level responsibility for social care is split between chief medical officer Liam Donaldson and director of delivery John Bacon. Both have wide-ranging NHS responsibilities.
The most senior social care officials at the department are care services director Anthony Sheehan, who reports to Donaldson, and Kathryn Hudson, national director for social care.
The DH said it would review the “support needed for social care” over the next month before making the appointment, suggesting the sector could be strengthened in other ways.