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Paper 13 - 29 September 2000
ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES
29 September 2000LGA SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND HEALTH EXECUTIVE
Report-back by Councillor Maureen Robinson, New Forest District Council
1. The Social Affairs and Health Executive met on 26 July and 5 September 2000.
CARE STANDARDS BILL
2. The executive has received a briefing on the National Care Standard Commission (NCSC) and as a result will has written to the appropriate Ministers seeking clarification on the arrangements for the boundaries to be used by the Commission. We are also making representations about the importance of councillor representation on health and other public bodies, (accepting that appointments should be based on individual merit). Linked to this is a desire to see Local Government representation on the NCSC.
We have also asked for a report clarifying the applicability of sheltered housing to the Commission.
3. This continues to be a high profile topic for the Executive. We have welcomed the Prime Minister’s review and are continuing the work to work with others to highlight and promote good practice in adoption and family placement services.
4. Disappointment has been expressed that the workshop on Equal Opportunities scheduled at the LGA conference was cancelled due to a lack of interest. The Chairman and Chief Executive have been written to, expressing our concerns. As a direct result, the issue is to be given a higher profile at next year’s event.
BRIEFING PAPER ON THE POLICY CONTENT OF THE SOCIAL AFFAIRS AND HEALTH OFFICER TEAM’S WORK
5. Officers have produced an excellent briefing paper summarising the range of policy work covered by the team. At members’ request it is going to be more widely available to inform the wider LGA membership of the issues currently under consideration. It has also highlighted the fact that the Executive’s agendas and work need to reflect the full range of issues rather than concentrate on the narrow range of Social Services issues which tend to dominate at present. For example, it is felt that we should be giving a higher profile to Public Health.
NHS NATIONAL PLAN AND RESPONSE TO ROYAL COMMISSION ON LONG TERM CARE
6. The National plan was published at the end of July and came as somewhat of a relief following widespread concern that it would contain proposals for Social Services functions to be taken over by the NHS. It is a long and complex document which signals major changes for the NHS. The vision which it describes has been broadly welcomed by the LGA. There are 3 key components that have important implications for Local Government;
* Tackling inequalities.
7. There was a long and detailed debate on the plan, including;
(a) Some members were unhappy with the proposals to abolish Community Health Councils (CHCs) and replace these with different arrangements, which will include a Patient Advocacy and Liaison (PAL) service in every NHS Trust. They are concerned that the PAL service will be less independent and therefore less likely to represent patients’ interests that CHCs.
(b) The proposal to establish Care Trusts is seen to be a positive move but care must be taken to ensure that Mental Health services are not forgotten or marginalised in such developments.
(c) We were also of the opinion that the NHS will need a lot of help in getting to grips with Best Value and that good local partnership arrangements and detailed planning will be needed to avoid duplication. A response has been submitted.
In summary, the Government’s response to the Royal Commission on Long term Care was felt to be disappointing, particularly in relation to the ‘fudge’ on personal care charges. The ending of residential allowance was welcomed.
The Workforce Planning Task Group
8. The Group has reported with recommendations relating to:
* HR management and recruitment and retention.
* Pay and conditions
* Changing the image of social work.
COUNCILLOR MAUREEN ROBINSON
New Forest District Council
Date: 11 September 2000
Contact: Councillor Maureen Robinson - 023 8028 5478
|Author:||Nick Goulder, Policy Manager|
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