Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Friday, September 25, 1998 Published at 04:52 GMT 05:52 UK


Care revolution revealed

Care home residents are set to get a charter of rights

The government is planning the most radical shake-up of social services in England and Wales for 30 years, the BBC has discovered.

BBC Social Affairs Correspondent Kim Catcheside on the new rules
A leaked draft of a government White Paper says major reform is needed because many local authority social services departments are seriously failing the people they are supposed to look after.

It proposes that the government sets national priorities and standards, including the level of charges made by councils for services such as home helps.

The BBC's Niall Dickson: "... all social services are failing"
Labour is also likely to create a new Long Term Care Charter - similar to the existing Patients Charter - setting out the rights of people in residential care.

[ image: Home helps will face greater regulation]
Home helps will face greater regulation
Major changes are proposed in inspection arrangements. Nine new independent regional authorities are planned, regulating nursing and residential care for adults and children as well as the agencies that deliver care to people's homes.

The government also wants to set up what it calls a General Social Care Council to regulate and improve the training of care workers.

The new body would establish registers of professional social workers as well as staff in children's homes.

Responding to the BBC's reports on the White Paper, the President of the Association of Directors of Social Services, Roy Taylor, welcomed the plans for the social care council and the independent inspection of homes.

One of the biggest challenges, he said, would be to eradicate the inconsistent levels of care across England and Wales.

[ image: A series of child abuse scandals has dented public confidence]
A series of child abuse scandals has dented public confidence
The leak of the White Paper comes only days after Labour announced plans to overhaul services for children in care in the light of a series of abuse scandals in recent years.

Those plans, unveiled on Monday, include the introduction of national guidelines on how social services departments should deal with children in care and extending their responsibilities to 18-year-olds.

The BBC's Social Affairs Editor Niall Dickson says the proposals in the White Paper would mean greater central control of social services.

However, it is clear that ministers believe this approach is necessary to restore public confidence in services that have been much criticised in recent years.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

25 Sep 98 | Health
What the social care reforms mean

25 Sep 98 | Health
Social services 'are not failing'

21 Sep 98 | Health
Cautious yes for children's plan

16 Sep 98 | Health
Elderly care 'needs radical overhaul'

28 Aug 98 | UK
Adoption rules to end 'misguided' practices

11 Aug 98 | UK
Councils to pay for elderly residential care

24 Jun 98 | Health
Social services face 'acute cash shortage'

Internet Links

The Department of Health

Personal Social Services Research Unit

British Association of Social Workers

National Institute for Social Work

Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online