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BASW England urges new Chair of Social Work England to promote excellent social work practice and work with the professional body

BASW England congratulates former social worker Lord Kamlesh Kumar Patel OBE on his appointment as Chair of Social Work England (SWE) and urges him to work closely with the professional association – and the wider social work sector – to uphold social work values and ensure the Professional Capabilities Framework is integrated into all social work standards.

“It is crucial that SWE puts the wellbeing of children, families and adults at the heart of its objectives, and the most effective way to achieve this is by recognising the need for a confident and independent profession,” said Maris Stratulis, BASW England Manager.

“This is needed alongside improving working conditions, resourcing and adherence to employer’s standards. The regulator should also promote the need for social workers to spend more time with people in practice, and less time dealing with unnecessary bureaucracy and other organisational obstacles.”

Lord Patel, a Labour Peer, earned a Diploma in Social Work DipSW and a Certificate of Qualification in Social Work CQSW from the University of Huddersfield in 1987, before working in social services in Bradford. 

Until recently he was Chairman of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Foundation. He has a record of co-production in all services and was a member of the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work. 

In the past, Lord Patel campaigned for increased support for individuals with mental health needs, promoted resilience and well-being in the workforce and has worked with communities to address health inequalities.

Since SWE's inception, BASW England has been campaigning for 50% of the SWE Leadership and Board representation to be qualified social workers - including direct practitioners, educators and in addition, representation on the Board of service users and carers.