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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2009): Social care - UK

Can foreign workers save social care?

J. Mahadevan

Children and Young People Now, Feb. 26th-Mar. 4th 2009, p. 12

In the light of a continuing shortage of home grown social workers, local authorities need to be able to recruit from overseas. The government is currently reviewing whether social workers should remain on the national occupation shortage list - a fast track to a UK work permit.

Delayed hospital discharge in England and Scotland: a comparative study of policy and implementation

M. Godfrey and J. Townsend

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 17, Feb. 2009, p. 26-36

Delayed hospital discharge in the UK leads to inefficient use of acute beds, causes inter-organisational disputes between health and social care services, and contributes to poor patient outcomes by increasing the risk of infection and compromising independence. This article compares the implementation and impact of two different approaches to tackling delayed hospital discharge: reimbursement introduced in England in 2003 and Joint Action Planning adopted in Scotland in 2002.

Global marketplace puts up the barriers

A. Mickel

Community Care, Mar. 19th 2009, p. 16-17

Staff recruited from overseas now make up almost 10% of the UK social work workforce, keeping vacancy levels manageable, especially in hard-to-staff areas like child protection. However, the number of new international social workers registering with the General Social Care Council is plummeting.

Incoming watchdog faces credibility crunch

B. Ferguson

Caring Times, Mar. 2009, p.18

The author warns against excessively light touch regulation of care homes and reliance on self-assessment by owners and managers. He calls on the new Care Quality Commission to reintroduce yearly, unannounced inspections of every care service as an absolute minimum.

Integrated complaints procedures for health and social care

J. Dow Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 17, Feb. 2009, p. 45-48 The Department of Health is planning to reform current arrangements for handling complaints about health and social care in England by introducing a single integrated system in April 2009. This article looks at the proposals and considers some of the key issues.

The integration of mental health social work and the NHS

D. Bogg

Exeter: Learning Matters, 2008

The integration of services has been NHS policy for a number of years, but how successfully has it been achieved? This book explores the issues from a social care perspective and examines changes in practice so far, particularly progress towards the overall aim of improving the experience of the service user, and achieving seamless services. The clash between medically-driven and socially-driven approaches has long been discussed and the book considers whether these two approaches have now been reconciled, or whether the reality of modern service provision continues to create a range of power struggles and demoralization among the professional groups. Contents include:

  • Social work as an identity within the NHS
  • The role of the Approved Mental Health Professional
  • Chapters written from the medical and voluntary perspective

A model and strategy for multi-agency adult protection training in Kent and Medway

J. Aylett

Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 11, Feb. 2009, p. 13-20

This paper describes the development of a multi-agency adult protection training programme in Kent and Medway and sets this in the context of the evolution of wider adult protection policy and context. The rationale for the planning and development of the model is outlined and the content and coverage of the different levels of training are described.

Options against obesity

P. Higham

Professional Social Work, Mar. 2009, p. 26-27

Vulnerable people with whom social workers engage are statistically more likely to be obese. In partnership with health and education, social workers can make a significant contribution towards countering eating patterns which lead to obesity. This article focuses on modes of intervention, motivational and therapeutic, that can help to make a difference.

The process and function of serious case review

H. Brown

Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 11, Feb. 2009, p. 38-50

This paper describes the work of the serious case review panel in Kent and Medway in investigating adult abuse. It summarises how a serious case review is triggered, how it fits in with other processes, and what has been learned from reviews undertaken to date.

Reflections and learning from adult protection policy development in Kent and Medway

C. McKeough

Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 11, Feb. 2009, p. 6-12

This paper charts the development of generic multi-agency adult protection policies in Kent and Medway since 1987. It also identifies on-going challenges in staff training, effective record keeping, implementation of self-directed support and service personalisation, and partnership working.

Social care body seeks more sway

J. Mahadevan

Children and Young People Now, Feb. 19th-25th 2009, p. 11

The General Social Care Council is recommending that the government gives its code of practice for employers of social workers statutory force. The code sets out the responsibilities of the employer, covering matters such as staff supervision and provision of induction and training. Giving the code statutory force would enable social workers to report employers for not performing their duties correctly.

Social care practice in context

M. Payne

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008

The book analyses the major elements of social care practice, showing how social care reflects the core values and methods of traditional social work. It looks at the varying contexts in which social care takes place, from secure units through residential care to people's own homes, the interlocking agencies that provide it, and the relationships at its heart. Each chapter includes an account of the key issues and research from the literature, brief case vignettes and exercises to help readers to apply what they have learned to their own practice.

That sinking feeling?

D. Harris and D. Hayes

Community Care, Mar. 5th 2009, p. 16-17

This article considers the impact of the 2009 recession on the social care workforce. Careers in social care offer job security and a pension and may become more attractive in the face of widespread job losses the banking and the retail sector. On the other hand, councils are under pressure to save money which may lead to staff cuts.

Why No Secrets must not mean no laws

D. Blake

Professional Social Work, Mar. 2009, p. 14-16

There appears to be some reluctance in government to introduce new laws empowering the state to intervene to protect vulnerable adults exposed to abuse on the grounds that this would infringe their rights to exercise choice and control. This article makes the case for legislation aimed at safeguarding vulnerable adults from abuse. No-one should have the freedom to coerce another person into actions that cause them harm or distress and to which, without undue influence, they would not have acceded.

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