Monday, February 4, 2008

Choice and Dilemmas

I spoke at a recent seminar for local government - "Choice and Dilemmas: The Future of Local Adult Social Care" with Ivan Lewis, Minister for Care Services at the Department of Health.

A small invited group of officers and politicians from London boroughs, county councils, professional bodies and social care media joined myself, the Minister, and Annie Stevenson, Senior Policy Adviser with Help The Aged.

It seemed to me sensible to set out the pressures and issues affecting Social Service departments - the cost of the Government's choice and personalisation agenda; the need for better access to health and social care for all; and how a simple change in legislation would allow us to build much-needed capacity in the voluntary and community sector.

The Minister agreed that fundamental change was required - we needed to rethink the way we delivered health and care services if we were to cope with more demand, from more people, with less money. And although I had to contend with the odd jibe about Kent TV, it was refreshing to leave politics aside for a while to find that everyone in the room had common ground - better services in a changing society.

Mr Lewis will be seeking the views of us all in his Green Paper on financing adult social care later this year. I really hope he's still in listening mode.

No comments: