Community Care, no.1306, 2000, p.12
Reports concern among professionals about the growing trend for councils to split up their social services departments. For example, Milton Keynes Council has combined children's services with education, while adult services are delivered through a neighbourhood services directorate.
Community Care, no.1308, 2000, p.24-25
Most Scottish social work organisations have welcomed the increased access to ministers that devolution has brought. However, the devolved government in Scotland appears to be working within the Westminster government's agenda of regulation and national standards.
Community Care, no.1306, 2000, p.4-5
Under current arrangements, local authorities can reclaim VAT on a wide range of normal activities and services. NHS trusts can only claim on a very narrow band of services, but government funding includes compensation for VAT payments that cannot be clawed back. The difference can impact on pooled budgets in joint working arrangements and may tempt partners to seek approval for the local authority to act as lead agency rather than the health authority or trust.
Managing Community Care, vol.8, Feb. 2000, p.13-21
National policy's inadequate evidential base potentially undermines the government's agenda for modernising social services. Energy may be diverted from delivering real improvements in services by a preoccupation with fulfilling targets that are not outcome-driven and through 'death by a thousand inspections'.
Community Care, no.1307, 2000, p.20-22
Reports on the reaction of field social workers in North East Lincolnshire to their department being named as failing by government. Most have responded positively because the shock persuaded the Council to invest more money and staff in the department.
Social Services Inspectorate
London: Department of Health, 2000
Report examined the implementation of the Quality Protects Programme, the use of prevention partnership and special grants, and inspection. The number of authorities failing to carry out all statutory inspections of under-eight's facilities, adult residential home and children's homes has fallen to 38. Quality Protects management action plans were being implemented in 60% of social services departments, although they were struggling to fill 40% of the 2,241 extra posts planned for the programme. More than 80% of authorities had made good progress in developing mental health services. With one exception, all authorities were consulting with carers on service planning. Authorities were expected to meet this year's national efficiency savings target of 2%, with 60% either meeting or exceeding the target already.
N. Valios and A. Thompson
Community Care, no.1306, 2000, p.22-25
Reports on the impact of recruitment difficulties and staff shortages in the social care sector on local authorities and agencies, and looks at some innovative ways of finding and retaining staff.