Headlines: August 13th, 2002

A new report suggests that some of the efforts to end bed-blocking (PublicNet Briefing, Tuesday, 30 July 2002) may not be sustainable.The view comes in the 11th Annual Report of the Chief Inspector of Social Services, Denise Platt.

‘Modern Social Services: A Commitment to Reform’ highlights current issues for the service:

– recruitment and retention of staff is a continuing problem

– budget pressures, particularly in children’s services are a problem for most councils and she urges councils to commission with best value in mind

– innovations on a small scale need to move to the mainstream of activity if reform is to make a real difference to all user groups

– relationships across health and social care, disrupted by recent structural changes, are now being re-established

– capacity and investment in mental health services is a cause for concern, and while councils have energetically tackled delayed transfers of care, service capacity needs to be improved for these gains to be sustainable.

Next year’s report is planned to be a joint production between the National Care Standards Commission and the SSI/Audit Commission Joint Review Team in anticipation of the establishment of the new Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI).

Link: www.doh.gov.uk/ssi/ciann-11.htm