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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2008): Social care - UK

Code shaking

J. Blewett

Professional Social Work, July 2008, p. 8-9

The author highlights a current study of the effectiveness of the regulatory Codes of Practice for both employers and social care staff in the four countries of the UK six years after their launch in 2002. He urges social workers to take part in a research process that will help shape how the Codes are modified and how they will function in years to come.

Community health (and care) partnerships in Scotland

I. Freeman and K. Moore

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 16, June 2008, p. 38-47

Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) have been set up by NHS boards across Scotland. They are seen as key building blocks in the modernisation of the NHS and the development of joint services. CHPs are intended to facilitate the integration of primary care and specialist services with social care, ensuring that health improvement is central to joint planning and delivery of services. This article describes the historical background, policy context, progress towards implementation and current issues.

Formula for a storm

A. Mickel

Community Care, June 26th 2008, p. 16-17

The personal social services formula, the main distribution channel for social services funding which comes through the general grant, has been altered to the detriment of London councils. The formula's criteria were changed in 2006, bringing in a heavier weighting for the number of people claiming disability living allowance (DLA). As take-up of DLA is low in London, the changes would have halved the budgets of many borough social services departments, so government brought in a 'damping effect' to limit the losses. However, ministers removed the damping earlier in 2008, so that the full impact of the new formula on budgets will begin to be felt.

Gaining independence: an evaluation of service users' accounts of the individual budgets pilot

G. Daly and A. Roebuck

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 16, June 2008, p. 17-25

This article presents the findings of an evaluation of service users' perspectives on a local authority's individual budgets pilot. The evaluation is qualitative, and ascertained the views and experiences of 30 users. The findings suggest that these users and their families see individual budgets as a very positive development. Service users have been able to gain greater control over their lives, not least in that they were able to determine to a much greater extent how their care needs were met. This enabled them to grow and develop and therefore to play a fuller part in their families and communities.

Individual budgets and personalisation: a new model for integration?

M. Henwood and B. Hudson

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.16, June 2008, p. 8-16

The new model of personalisation of adult social care being promoted by government is based on the principles of user control, choice of service and flexibility of support. People who meet the eligibility criteria for social care will be allocated a personal budget which they can take as a direct payment, as services or through a combination of the two. This article presents the key findings of three in-depth qualitative case studies of implementation of self-directed support in three local authorities.

A question of leadership

J. Glasby and H. Dickinson

Community Care, June 19th 2008, p. 30-31

This article considers the role of leadership in effective partnership working. Agencies have typically used the appointment of individual managers such as network co-ordinators or integrated service managers to glue the partners together and overcome obstacles to joint working. It is concluded that, while leadership and management do have a significant impact on the functioning of inter-agency collaborations, leaders' roles should not be overstated. Different types of collaboration require different sorts of leadership, and it is important to consider the aims of the partnership when defining managerial roles. Regardless of the form of the network, different leadership and management attributes will prove more effective at certain points during the collaboration than others.

Time's up for gatekeeping

M. Ivory

Community Care, June 12th 2008, p. 26-27

The author considers the impact of the personalisation agenda on social workers. Care managers are likely to find that their jobs change significantly as more emphasis is put on self-assessment by users, who then buy their own services with support from a new breed of 'brokers'. However, concerns that the new system will be underfunded remain.

Towards world class commissioning? New approaches to service delivery for people facing social exclusion

R. Kramer

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.16, June 2008, p. 3-7

Commissioners need to design services that are more responsive to the needs of individuals living in the most deprived communities, who are marginalised by providers and whose voices are seldom heard. In order to focus services on the needs of the communities which use them, commissioners should:

  • Use data to understand properly the profile the communities they serve
  • Involve local people in service design, particularly the neediest users
  • Personalise services through creation of individual budgets
  • Put prevention at the heart of commissioning
  • Use partnerships to provide more effective services.

Workers' playground?

M. Hunter

Community Care, June 28th 2008, p. 14-15

A new agreement by European Union employment ministers will mean that, after 12 weeks of working, agency staff will qualify for the same pay and holidays as permanent employees. This article considers the impact of the deal on councils and the 30,000 agency staff working in social care in the UK.

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