White paper calls for integrated workforce

Councils and health bodies should be encouraged to integrate workforce planning, according to the health and social care white paper.

The paper, which was released by the government last month, also calls for preventive and personalised services based in the community.

To implement the strategy, care services minister Liam Byrne has promised a campaign to get more funding for social care.

Integration of the workforce will be linked to service and budgetary planning across health and social care.

Skills for Care chief executive Andrea Rowe said the government might need to introduce a duty to co-operate on workforce planning to make the proposals workable.

Rowe welcomed plans to widen the sector’s recruitment efforts, and said social care had been successful in attracting more young people.

But she said the white paper focused too much on end-of-life care and that more support was needed for younger adults with disabilities.

White paper proposals

• Councils and PCTs will have aligned performance management systems and budgetary cycles, and plan and commission services jointly.
• Eligibility for direct payments will be extended to groups that are currently excluded.
• By 2008, councils and trusts will have joint teams in place to support people with the most serious long-term conditions.
• PCTs will be assessed on their ability to shift resources from acute care into primary settings and preventive services.
Our Health, Our Care, Our Say: a New Direction in Community Services from www.dh.gov.uk


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