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

Making better use of resources

M. Cooper (guest editor)

Housing, Care and Support, vol.13, Dec. 2010, p. 2-40

The articles in this special issue focus on the increasing importance of housing support, early intervention and prevention, and building social capital. They paint a picture of the types of service that we need to develop and the strategic shift that we should pursue if we are to be able to offer vulnerable people an effective support service based upon which they may enjoy a reasonable quality of life or move on to greater independence. Articles cover the importance of retirement housing, personalisation of housing support in the context of economic austerity, support for people with mental health needs to live independently, the impact of government cuts, and the links between housing and health.

Reflections on current challenges facing support, and the 'battle for survival' between small and large providers

P. Kingsley

Housing, Care and Support, vol.13, Oct. 2010, p. 6-13

This article reflects on the comparative strengths and weaknesses of small and large support providers, based on observations over the last few years, developments in the commissioning market and the application of a few business tools. It concludes that the support market is in a poor state, that few if any providers can make a decent return, and that competition between providers has not produced 'winners' with a commanding share of the market and the ability to achieve significant efficiency savings. In these circumstances, large housing associations appear to be leaving the market. However, loss of support contracts poses an existential threat to small providers, so, unlike their large competitors who can simply walk away, they are fighting harder and making more sacrifices to stay in business.

The state of telehealth and telecare in the UK: prospects for integrated care

N. Goodwin

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 18, Dec. 2010, p. 3-10

Telehealth and telecare innovations in the UK are among the most advanced in the world, and have been delivered in most cases by cross-agency partnerships involving local authorities, housing associations, NHS trusts, voluntary organisations and commercial providers. However, embedding new technologies to support people with both health and social care needs is unlikely to meet its full potential unless the system itself accepts the need to integrate care services. There is considerable potential for further collaboration between organisations and sectors that use technology to find innovative ways of looking after people with long term care needs, keeping them out of institutional care, provided that stakeholders are willing to embrace new ways of working.

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