Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2007): Care of the elderly - UK

Helping older people in residential care remain full citizens

P. Scourfield

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 37, 2007, p. 1135-1152

New Labour's project of modernising government has involved the promotion of active citizenship and new modes of democratic engagement which combine to produce what has been described as participative governance. This paper argues that the voices of older people in residential care have not been heard and that they have been largely excluded from the new forms of deliberative democracy. It accepts the view that in order to 'level the playing field' advocacy services that are appropriate, independent and adequately funded need to be made available to those in residential settings.

'How do you stand working with all these old people?'

D. Oliver

Health Service Journal, vol.117, Nov. 22nd 2007, p. 20-21

The author argues that, although older people are core users of the NHS, they often receive poor quality inpatient care due to deep-rooted prejudice and ageist attitudes among frontline staff. Moreover, under the payment by results system, their presence loses money for acute trusts. For those who remain at home, community services are poor or non-existent. The author concludes by calling for better staff training and for the introduction of targets focused on driving up the standards of care received by older people.

How will government defuse the demographic time bomb?

M. Gould

Health Service Journal, vol.117, Nov. 8th 2007, p. 14-15

Government is developing a system for funding elder care that will share costs between the individual and the state. It is envisaged that the state would fund a basic minimum entitlement, and would share the costs of extra services with families through a co-payment scheme. Free personal care is not on the cards.

Is this the answer to the age-old question of social care funding?

N. Dickson

Health Service Journal, vol. 117, Nov. 22nd 2007, p. 16-17

In its 2007 pre-budget report, the government has committed itself to reforming the way that social care is funded. The current system penalises elderly people who have saved and is particularly hard on those of moderate means. It also fails to meet the needs of frail older people whose impairments are not severe enough to qualify for help. There is general support for a system under which the costs of social care would be shared between the individual, the family and the state.

Patient and carer perceptions of case management for long-term conditions

P. Sargent and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 15, 2007, p. 511-519

Nurse-led case management programmes for frail elderly people were first introduced in the early 1990s in the USA and have since spread to Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy. One model of case management being delivered in England is the community matron programme. The aim of the programme is to treat patients sooner, nearer to home and earlier in the course of the disease and to reduce emergency hospital admissions. This qualitative study describes case management from the perspective of patients and carers in order to develop a clearer understanding of how the model is being delivered on the ground. Five categories of case management tasks emerged from the data: clinical care, co-ordination of care, education, advocacy and psychosocial support. Psychosocial support was emphasised by both patients and carers, and was viewed as equally important as clinical care.

The single assessment process in primary care: older people's accounts of the process

J. Powell and others

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 37, 2007, p. 1043-1058

The single assessment process for health and social care is central to promoting a person-centred, inter-agency approach to the assessment of all older people's needs and to the production of a personal care plan to be held by the service user. It establishes a mechanism whereby key agencies at a local level are required to share assessment tools and approaches to prevent unnecessary delays in accessing services and to avoid duplication. This paper reports findings from a qualitative study exploring older people's experience of the single assessment process. Their accounts indicate the potential of the single assessment process for proactively identifying 'low-level' need, whilst raising issues about access to formal services and resource constraints.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web