The Big Question

What should be David Behan’s priority in the new Department of Health top job of director general of social care?

Jean Stogdon – Grandparents Plus
I hope that he will talk to front-line workers. Civil servants always talk to the top people, yet the people on the front line struggle with things that the managers don’t know about and have to implement policies with little or no help. And he should also speak to the service users – they are the ones who experience need and are best placed to talk about it.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
To ensure that the current talk of upholding the dignity and improving quality of life for older people in social services placements in care homes is carried through to a really meaningful conclusion. And to ensure that young people leaving care have an extended system of support and guidance that lasts as long as is necessary on a case-by-case basis.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
David Behan’s top priority should be care of older people. They are the biggest users of social care and health care, but they are often a low priority. Their needs are not taken into account in the planning and development of these services. Focus should also be directed to struggling parents so that fewer children are taken into care.

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
Health and social care used to be considered as separate areas and it is good that this new job has been created because it should promote integration. I’d like to see carers much more involved in the consultation stages of legislation. After all, we are the ones providing the care – no one knows more than we do about the needs of those we care for.

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