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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2011): Social care - UK

Can independent adult practices learn from the children's pilots?

K. McGregor

Community Care, Nov. 18th 2010, p. 10

The government has announced that independent GP-style social work practices will be piloted in adult services. This article presents an overview of the lessons to be learned from the experiences of pilots in children's services, which have in fact attracted little interest. Service user groups, however, have broadly welcomed the idea.

Care of the dying: a pathway to excellence. 2nd ed.

J. Ellershaw and S. Wilkinson(editors)

Oxford: OUP, 2011

Even for the most experienced healthcare professional, managing the last few days of life can be difficult. This unique book provides guidelines for the care of the dying based on the Liverpool Integrated Care Pathway for the Dying Patient (LCP). Developed at a hospice, the information can be disseminated and adapted to fit different settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. The LCP is a multiprofessional document that incorporates evidence based practice and appropriate guidelines related to care of the dying. It provides a template which describes the process of care which is generally delivered in a clinical situation and incorporates the expected outcome of care delivery. The LCP replaces all other documentation in this phase of care. Care pathways can provide a potentially powerful aid to professionals involved in palliative care. Basic principles of treatment are translated into daily practice, including bedside documentation systems, policies and procedures, standards of practice, continuing education and quality improvement programmes. This book also includes chapters on symptom control, ethical issues, communication skills, and spiritual care written by experts in the field which underpin the use of the LCP.

Integrated services for people with long-term neurological conditions (LTNCs): evaluation of the impact of the national service framework

S. Bernard and others

Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, 2010

This research aimed to identify best models and practice for providing integrated support for people with long term neurological conditions and to develop a national benchmarking system to assess the impact of the National Service Framework. The processes of integration and experiences of people with long-term neurological conditions were explored in six case studies through observation, interviews and analysis of local literature such as strategy documents. A national survey was completed of the lead commissioners for long-term neurological conditions within each primary care trust in England to find the type, quality and impact of integrated services. Three models of best practice were identified: nurse specialists, community interdisciplinary neurological rehabilitation teams, and day opportunities. Important contributory factors to people experiencing continuity of care were care co-ordination, specialist expertise, voluntary sector involvement, and timely access.

Preventing burnout in NQSWs

K. McGregor

Community Care, Nov. 18th 2010, p. 30-31

The Children's Workforce Development Council and Skills for Care have designed schemes to provide support for newly qualified social workers in their first year of practice, offering them protected training and supervision time. The Social Work Reform Board is now looking to build on this foundation by rolling out the Assessed Year In Employment (AYE) from as early as 2011. This article considers what learning can be taken from the current support schemes to ensure that AYE is a success.

Transparency in outcomes: a framework for adult social care: a consultation on proposals

Department of Health


This consultation paper sets out the government's plans for the reform of the performance assessment of adult social care in England. Government-set performance indicators and data requirements for councils will be abolished and replaced by a smaller set of outcome measures and a national data set, the content of which will be negotiated between councils and government, and which will not be used for national target setting. The annual performance assessment of adult social services by the Care Quality Commission will be replaced by local annual reports which will be reviewed by other local authorities and user-led organisations. Compulsory annual quality ratings for providers will also disappear and be replaced by an 'excellence standard' which will be assessed by the Care Quality Commission on application from providers. At the heart of the new system will be HealthWatch England, a consumer champion to be created within the Care Quality Commission in 2012, and its local offshoots, which will replace existing local involvement networks

(For comment see Community Care, Nov. 25th 2010, p. 10)

'Why partnership working doesn't work': pitfalls, problems and possibilities in English health and social care

H. Dickinson and J. Glasby

Public Management Review, vol. 12, 2010, p. 811-828

Since the election of the New Labour government in 1997, partnership working has been heavily promoted in English social policy. Despite this, more recent years have seen something of a reaction against partnerships. The case study of Springfield and Shelbyville's Forensic Mental Health Partnership presented in this article reveals a number of pitfalls with regard to the current policy emphasis on partnership working. For partnerships to succeed, policy makers and frontline service staff must be clear about what they are trying to achieve, honest about their motives, challenging but realistic in their aspirations, and design subsequent organisational structures and relationships with this in mind.

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