Plan to include domiciliary staff on register still alive

A top civil servant has said the government is still committed to opening the social care register to domiciliary workers, nearly two years after the scheme was originally due to be launched.

Glen Mason, director for social care leadership and performance at the Department of Health, said the model of registration was still being developed in partnership with the General Social Care Council.

Speaking at the Skills for Care annual conference in London today, Mason said discussions were focusing on how to deliver the registration “with the least bureaucracy but most added value”.

Last May, the care services minister Ivan Lewis announced that the scheme, originally planned for April 2007, would be launched in “weeks rather than months”. But Mason (right), speaking in place of care services minister Phil Hope, told Community Care today that there was no deadline.

He added: “There is a danger that if we don’t get it right there will be disincentives [for people to join the workforce]. It’s an important tool to lever up the quality of the care they provide.”

Mason confirmed that the long-awaited adult social care workforce strategy, which will include newly qualified social worker status for those working with adults, would be published this spring.

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