Letters to Community Care 7 October 2010

Rosie Varley says Paul Burstow is wrong on registration fees, plus charity Sense's view of rising eligibility criteria

Burstow is wrong on GSCC registration fee

Care services minister Paul Burstow says that the social workers’ registration fee would have increased to £400 if the government “had allowed the GSCC to continue in its role and the same financial model” (news, 30 September).

Over recent weeks figures quoted in your magazine have varied from £250 to this latest £400. But none of these figures are based on the GSCC’s estimates of what the registration fee would have been if we were to become independent of government. The government has not asked us to provide these figures.

Even the lowest figures are at the high end, and do not take into account that our costs were set to reduce significantly through a modernisation programme already in development when our transfer to the HPC was announced.

Rosie Varley OBE, chair, GSCC

Defining critical care

It’s important to note that under the Fair Access to Care Services guidance 2010, critical does not just mean only life threatening situations and abuse (news, 16 September).

Critical also includes risk to vital involvement in work or learning, vital support relationships and vital support roles.

The point of the definition is to ensure that all aspects of social care are included, not just personal care. For instance, deafblind people can generally carry out personal care tasks themselves in their own home.

But for those with a high level of both hearing and sight loss, safely travelling out of the house and communicating with others is impossible without support. The extreme social isolation which can result from this is equally as damaging as the inability to carry out personal care.

Sue Brown, head of public policy, Sense

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