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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2010): Social care - UK

Best of both worlds

M. Hunter

Community Care, July 29th 2010, p. 26-27

Essex Council has responded to the challenge of personalisation of social care by creating its own local authority trading company which will operate as a commercial enterprise. Any profits will either be returned to the council, which remains the sole shareholder, or used to improve services. Essex Cares now employs nearly 1,000 staff and provides support to about 100,000 people. Its services include home and day care, an equipment service, and employment and inclusion services for adults with learning disabilities.

Call me, I'm a social worker

K. McGregor

Community Care, July 15th 2010, p. 14-15

A growing number of local authority social services departments are introducing call centres to filter enquiries and increase efficiency. Contact centre staff screen initial calls and then pass them on to a social work team if appropriate.

Despite all we know about collaborative working, why do we still get it wrong?

P. Williams and H. Sullivan

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.18, Aug. 2010, p. 4-15

Collaborative working between health and social care has been heavily promoted by successive UK governments, and is supported by extensive theoretical and empirical research. However, despite government support and research guidance, the outcomes of collaborative working are often disappointing in practice. This paper explores what derails well-intentioned attempts at collaboration, drawing on research into the integration of health and social care in Wales and highlighting four particular areas of concern: motivation and meaning, capacity and capability, learning, and conceptualising and measuring success.

A discussion paper on promoting sport and physical activity as part of the role of the social work sector

I. Paylor

International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, vol. 48, no.3, 2010, p. 85-93

In the light of the growing costs of physical inactivity to the public purse in Britain, the government is focusing on increasing participation in sport and exercise to improve population health and reduce crime. This creates an opportunity for social workers to become involved in promoting physical activity and its benefits to their clients.

From old patchwork to new patchwork? The Law Commission proposals for reform of adult social care law

J. Dow

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 18, Aug. 2010, p. 16-18

This paper comments on the provisional proposals for the reform of adult social care law in the Law Commission's 2010 consultation paper. It points out that under the proposals the existing interface between health and social care, and the existing divide between social care and housing would be maintained. It goes on to consider the implications of the proposals for housing law and for the discretionary welfare services provided by local authorities under their 'well-being' powers in the Local Government Act 2000.

Herefordshire has the right mix

J. Dunning

Community Care, Aug. 12th 2010, p. 26-27

Herefordshire Council and the local primary care trust (PCT), NHS Herefordshire, have travelled far down the road of successfully integrating health and social care services. It has also laid the foundations for working with the GP consortia which will take over healthcare commissioning responsibilities from primary care trusts in 2013. Joint working in Herefordshire looks likely to survive the reforms outlined in the 2010 health White Paper, which proposes the abolition of PCTs.

New regulator promises social care staff have nothing to fear

K. McGregor

Community Care, Aug. 5th 2010, p. 5

Report of an interview with Marc Searle, chief executive of the Health Professions Council(HPC), which is taking over responsibility for the regulation of social workers from the abolished General Social Care Council. Searle promises that the Health Professions Council will adapt to meet the needs of social workers. He proposes the introduction of a licence to practise system, which would enable the Council to impose conditions on social workers found guilty of misconduct, says the HPC would not register students, and states that registration of the wider social care workforce is not a priority.

What future for in-house care?

J. Dunning

Community Care, July 29th 2010, p.24-25

The future of council in-house adult care services is under review in England due to personalisation and the public funding cuts. Four options are available to councils needing to reduce spending:

  1. outsourcing of services to the private sector
  2. setting up a social enterprise
  3. setting up a local authority trading company
  4. retain most services in-house but cut costs.
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