scheme which has seen children in care getting better help from
independent social workers who are contracted to local authorities
will be extended to adult social care, Health Secretary Andrew
Lansley announced today.
In a speech to the National Adult and Children's
Services (NCAS) conference in Manchester, Mr Lansley set out plans
to pilot Social Work Practices for adult social care, announced
funding for re-ablement services in 2011/12 and launched plans for
trailblazer sites for Health and Wellbeing boards.
Social Work Practices are organisations that are led by social
workers but independent of the local authority. The new pilots
will provide the social work services for a specified group of
adults. They discharge the statutory duties and responsibilities
of the local authority in relation to these adults.
The programme will enable social care workers to:
more time with the individuals in their care and the bureaucratic
burden on individual social workers is reduced.
decisions much closer to their clients, resulting in a more
* Feel empowered with more control over
the day-to-day management of the practice.
* Make use of the
increased financial flexibility to deliver better outcomes by
stepping back and thinking creatively about resource use.
Enjoy their jobs more - staff satisfaction levels for the
children's pilot have been high as staff feel empowered
with more control over the day-to-day management of the Practice.
They feel they are very much part of a decision-making team.
Following the successful pilot in children's services,
councils will now be invited to apply to pilot Social Work
Practices for adults. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the
pilots will begin next summer.
Mr Lansley said:
"Putting decision making and power in the hands of
social workers will mean better, more personal care for
individuals. Social workers - the people who really know their
clients - will have flexibility to create services around their
"These pilots will explore how the government can
encourage social workers to develop fully independent groups
contracted to local authorities. The project will work across
health and social care to secure better health and wellbeing for
the individuals using the service.
"The Social Work Practices programme supports the
Government's wider agenda of building the 'Big
Society'. We want to put the user at the heart of the
service delivered and be more responsive, bringing decision making
much closer to them."
The Health Secretary gave more details about the funding and more
help for the NHS to put in place post hospital care, or
Re-ablement helps people who return home after a spell in
hospital and need help re-gaining their independence. The NHS will
be given an extra £150 million in 2011/12 for re-ablement services
and £300 million a year from 2012/13 - this is part of the
additional money given to social care through the Department of
Health in the Spending Review. And a toolkit has been launched
that will help councils to work with the NHS on re-ablement. The
toolkit can be found at http://www.csed.dh.gov.uk/homeCareReablement/Toolkit/.
Mr Lansley said:
"Last month, I announced £70 million for re-ablement.
Next year, this will rise to £150 million. And after that, £300
million each year earmarked for re-ablement until 2015."
And Mr Lansley set out that councils, the NHS, representatives of
patients and the public and everybody involved in commissioning
services that affect people's health will be brought
together to form Health and Wellbeing Boards to ensure individuals
get a seamless service from the NHS and social care.
Some authorities are already working up their own plans for
integrated working but the Government wants to find the right way
forward. Mr Lansley also announced today that a network of early
trailblazers, a collection of pioneering authorities to show how
health and wellbeing boards could work in future, will be set up.
These early implementers will link with GP commissioning
pathfinders to ensure the right relationships are put in place.
Notes for Editors
1. For further information, contact the Department of Health
press office on 020 7210 5221.
2. Social Work Practice (SWP) pilots have been funded by the
Department for Education since December 2008 and have seen the
creation of independent organisations led by social workers,
delivering services for children and young people in care.
3. The Department of Health is now proposing to run similar SWP
pilots for users of adult social care. SWPs will be led by social
workers but could include other professionals or organisations
considered appropriate for the services provided. Each SWP would
contract with its local authority to provide particular community
4. A letter inviting councils to submit expressions of interest
to form SWPs by Christmas will shortly appear on the DH website.
Councils will be expected to outline innovative models to enhance
the quality of services experienced by service users and their
carers. Funding will be available to cover set up costs for each
pilot site, depending on the number of sites eventually chosen.
5. Councils submitting the most promising models will be asked to
submit more detailed proposals. A final decision on which councils
to involve in the programme will be made early in the New Year,
following appropriate consultation. The pilots are expected to
begin next summer (subject to Parliamentary approval).
Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221