Ivan Lewis announces new social care skills academy as part of plan for excellence

A new social care skills academy will be set up to develop “world-class leadership and commissioning” across the sector, care services minister Ivan Lewis has announced.

The academy, dubbed SocialCare21, is part of a five-point plan for “social care excellence” based on a report by Commission for Social Care Inspection chair Denise Platt for the Department of Health.

Alongside the academy, Lewis has asked the Social Care Institute for Excellence to develop a new system for identifying and disseminating best practice in the sector by the end of the year.

He will also start discussions with publishers to set up a social care journal along the lines of The Lancet for health, to give academics, practitioners and users a platform to comment on the state of the sector.

Other measures include creating a national social care board to “seek a greater level of coherence across social care” and directly advise ministers, and building on existing award schemes for frontline staff, to recognise excellence in the sector.

Announcing the plans, Lewis said: “The measures I have announced signal the government’s commitment to put excellence at the heart of our ambition for a twenty first century social care system.”

Lewis mooted some of the proposals at last October’s National Adult and Children’s Services Conference when he appointed Denise Platt to lead a group on raising the status and quality of social care.

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