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DH reshuffle promotes social care as a priority

9th August 2006

The Department of Health (DH) will give a greater priority to social care, following a reshuffle at the top, reports the Guardian.

According to former chief inspector of social care David Behan, the separation of the roles of departmental permanent secretary at the Department of Health and chief executive of the NHS will mean that the government once again makes the problems of social care a priority.

The soon-to-be-initiated director general for social care at the DH told the newspaper that he thinks the changes will allow a greater focus on social justice and equality.

"Me sense is that there is an increasing focus on the way we provide services for older people," said Mr Behan. "They are going to rise up the political agenda.

"The generation that marched against the Vietnam war and marched to ban the bomb will not accept services that don't allow them to maintain independence of mind as well as body," he forecast.

The changes are an attempt to refresh the importance of social services in relation to the NHS within government policy.

It is also a preparation for the dissolution of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, which will have its duties split between Ofsted and the Healthcare Commission by 2008.

Future priorities include giving older people more choice and control and an acknowledgement that training among social care workers leads to better quality care.