Click here to skip to content

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

A fuzzy new standard for care plans

T. Cooper

Caring Times, Nov. 2009, p. 12-13

In recent years the concept of person-centred care planning has come to the fore as a method of ensuring that care plans more accurately reflect the full range of service users' needs and wishes. Person-centred care planning has become widely accepted in the care industry as best practice, but inspectors from the new Care Quality Commission are now claiming, on no formal authority, that this approach is required by law.

Funding doubts over adult care policies

J. Dunning

Community Care, Oct. 29th 2009, p. 10-11

The Labour government has pledged to introduce free personal care at home for people with critical needs from October 2010. The government expects councils to fund the service by making better use of resources, but there are grave doubts among local authorities that this can be done. The Conservatives may have stolen a march on Labour by promising to retain attendance allowance for older disabled people, which the government proposes to abolish to fund the extension of support with personal care costs to all eligible service users.

A matter of life or death

P. Saunders and J. Cartwright

Community Care, Oct. 29th 2009, p. 24-25

The Director of Public Prosecutions has issued guidance clarifying when suicide assistants would be more likely to be prosecuted under section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961. In this article, the fitness for purpose of the new guidelines is debated by a supporter and an opponent of euthanasia. The guidelines can be viewed as fast-tracking vulnerable people for suicide, or as a victory for choice and patient control.

Organisational integration in health and social care: some reflections on the Northern Ireland experience

D. Heenan and D. Birrell

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.17, Oct. 2009, p. 3-11

Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has had a system of integrated health and social care since the 1970s. Following devolution, the reconfiguration of services has strengthened this integration with a smaller number of trusts with responsibilities for both health and social care. This article examines the current and planned operation of this more comprehensive form of integration of health and social care. It considers how this experience of integrated structures and working can inform approaches in other areas of the UK.

Prepared for the job

N. Rowntree

Children and Young People Now, Nov. 5th-11th 2009, p. 18-19

Social work training has been heavily criticised for failing to give students sufficient practical experience. This article looks at a scheme run by the Prince's Trust to fill the gap. It involves using student social workers on placement to support disadvantaged 16- to 25-year-olds taking part in the charity's twelve-week personal development course.

Social care by the job lot

M. Hunter

Community Care, Nov. 5th 2009, p. 24-25

Care service procurement alliances between neighbouring local authorities can reduce costs through bulk buying. However this approach conflicts with the government's personalisation agenda, which includes enabling users to purchase care directly.

Social work signs up for college

K. McGregor

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

The Social Work Task Force has proposed the establishment of a new organisation to improve standards, influence policy and provide a national voice for the profession. This body is to take the form of a national college for social work, based on the royal college model in medicine.

Training for change: early days of individual budgets and the implications for social work and care management practice: a qualitative study for trainers

J. Manthorpe and others

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 39, 2009, p. 1291-1305

The expectation that the implementation of individual budgets would affect social work roles and activities led to an evaluation of the degree of engagement of local authority adult services training sections in the initiative in 13 pilot areas. These data are reported in this article and discussed following a brief overview of the wider implications of consumer-directed support, of which individual budgets are one example, for social workers and care managers.

Working in the public sector: a case study of social services

M. Coffey, L. Dugdill and A. Tattersall

Journal of Social Work, vol.9, 2009, p. 420-442

This article explores working conditions and quality of life in two social services departments in the UK. It draws together an array of qualitative findings from a large study that took place over a three year period, together with quantitative data in respect of mental health. Throughout the period of the study, extensive changes were taking place within the two social services departments. These changes were driven by 'neo-liberal' policies, which advocate a greater degree of privatisation, and a reduction of the role of the state in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The study highlights the negative effects that changes in the public sector can have on the mental health of staff, in that 36% of respondents to a large survey were suffering mental distress. It also shows that, when empowered to do so, staff can identify aspects of their jobs causing them distress, analyse the cause of these problems, and create action plans to deal with them.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web