§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information he has as to how many extra social workers and support staff are being appointed and what training provisions have been made to implement the community care programme; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lang
[holding answer 25 June 1990]: No information is kept centrally as to the number of extra social workers or support staff being appointed by local authorities specifically for community care, but the total number of staff on a whole-time equivalent basis employed by local authority social work departments increased from 32,453 in October 1987 to 35,228 in October 1989.
In order to ensure that local authorities and other agencies will be equipped to undertake their new responsibilities anticipated in the National Health Service and Community Care Bill, the Scottish Office has funded the university of Dundee to provide a training programme for key members of staff in the social work departments and the other agencies involved in community care for a three year period from 1990, with a possible extension to five years. Discussions are also being held with officials of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Dundee university and the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work on ways of providing short-term training for the staff immediately involved in establishing the new community care procedures and the production of a training pack for use by local authorities in training the wide variety of staff involved in community care.