Speaking at the Ageing Population 2010 conference in London last week, Eagle said she welcomes the recent debate about care costs and a national care service but says politicians and sector workers must work together.
She said: “Just looking at the debate on social care at the moment demonstrates how important it is to get this re-engineering right. We have got to realise that we have had an adhoc system that has grown over the years and it is almost -topsy-turvy. We have got to turn it into something much more coherent.”
She added: “That has series implications for us as policymakers, providers and citizens in our country and there is a great deal of work to do. But by working together we can produce a result by which we will be proud. We should be optimistic that we can beat these challenges if we work together.”
Care Quality Commission acting chair Dame Jo Williams echoed Eagle’s comments. Speaking at the same conference she said: “Part of our challenge for the future is to think quite differently about how we and others can work with organisations to bring about change.
“We are very interested in looking at joined up care. Not only between the various sectors but within the sector itself.”
However, Williams warned that the challenge now is the “significant squeeze” on resources and the expectation that local authorities will reduce their budgets.
She said: “Our concern remains that with the huge financial pressures that we see ahead our task will be to ensure that quality and safety remain a priority.”