HC Deb 22 December 1997 vol 303 cc535-6W
Mrs. Golding

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the consultation paper on the General Care Council will be published. [20744]

Mr. Boateng

We are today publishing the report of the review on behalf of the United Kingdom Ministers responsible for sponsoring the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW). Copies of the report have been placed in the Library.

I and my hon. Friends will be considering in detail the conclusions and recommendations in the report which is the result of an extensive consultation exercise and we intend to act on the recommendations in the report designed to secure efficiency and good value for money in the way the functions are carried out.

I announced in the House on 3 July 1997, Official Report, columns 231–32, our intention to establish a General Social Services Council. This was one of the matters to which the review of CCETSW was to have regard. I and my hon. Friends will be giving further thought to how best to build effective UK links on the regulation of the workforce consistent with the Government's plans for devolution. The report of the review paves the way for the establishment of a General Social Care Council (GSCC), as we now intend to call it, and makes clear the vital importance of drawing a close relationship between the regulation of training and of the workforce.

The Government have not decided that it is unnecessary to issue a further consultation document on its proposals to establish the GSCC. We intend to publish our legislative proposals in a White Paper in the spring after further discussion of the detailed issues within the Government and will all the key stakeholders. These will include service users, employers in all sectors, staff interests and professional bodies. In preparation, for and to the benefit of, the GSCC we will carry out a formal stage two of the review based on appropriate recommendations in the report to examine issues of effectiveness and value for money.

CCETSW continues to play its vital role in ensuring an appropriately qualified and trained workforce. Achieving that objective remains central to our approach, but we do not see the need for a separate body for the regulation of training in the aftermath of the establishment of the GSCC.

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