SCIE opinion - 6 January 2013

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Photograph of Allan Bowman

Chair's dreams come true

From Allan Bowman, SCIE's outgoing chair.

When I joined SCIE as chair in 2006 I said that I wanted social care to be one of the government's top ten priorities alongside health. Well, I got my wish. The last seven years has seen a transformation in politicians' and the public's interest in social care.

Older people's care, safeguarding and integration have become common discussion points for the press, politicians and the pub. Of course it's not always for the right reasons. Scandals, recession and politics have all played their part in raising the profile of social care. But regardless of changes in governments, practice and structures, one thing remains constant – the need for reliable, practical information and guidance. SCIE has provided that.

As one of the few remaining national social care bodies, SCIE continues to help the sector to tackle the new and the difficult. From our seminal work on personalisation and safeguarding, to innovations such as Social Care TV and Find Me Good Care, I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. More importantly, people who use, manage and commission care services have told me how much they value our work and wish to see it continue.

I am also delighted that, following a competitive tendering process, SCIE and our partners won the commission to host the new NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care. This is an important development and ensures that SCIE is in a strong position to continue to support the sector well into the future. Now is the logical time for a new chair to lead the agency into the next era. As we go out to advertise for our new chair, my advice would be if you want one of the most rewarding, influential and respected roles in social care – get your application in.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me as chair. Special thanks go to: Tina Coldham my former co-chair of SCIE's Partners' Council, and now chair of the Co-production Network; Bill Kilgallon, Julie Jones and most recently Andrea Sutcliffe as the very able chief executives I have had the pleasure to work with; my fellow Board members and all the staff, past and present, at SCIE – particularly Majella Ahwieh, my executive assistant. Special thanks too to the ministers and civil servants I have worked with over the years, including: Liam Byrne, Ivan Lewis, Phil Hope, Paul Burstow, Norman Lamb, Beverley Hughes, Dawn Primarolo, Tim Loughton and Edward Timpson, as well as David Behan, Shaun Gallagher and Glen Mason. Also thanks to colleagues in Wales - Gwenda Thomas, Rob Pickford, Margaret Provis and Jonathan Corbett, and in Northern Ireland – Michael McGimpsey, Edwin Poots, Paul Martin, Sean Holland and Karen Campbell.

And thanks too for everyone across the social care sector who has worked with and supported SCIE throughout these last seven years – we couldn't have done it without you.

It has been a real pleasure and I wish SCIE and my replacement all the best for the future.

Allan Bowman
Social Care Institute for Excellence

SCIE chair – vacancy

Allan will remain in post as SCIE chair until a replacement is able to take up post.

Closing date for applications for SCIE chair is 27 January 2013

Recruitment is being managed by Attenti.

Social Care Online

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