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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2000): Social Care - UK

ARE ORGANISATIONS PREPARED TO RETHINK PRINCIPLES AS WELL AS PRACTICE?

B. Puddicombe

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 3 June 2000, p. 20-22

Article suggests ways in which the concepts contained in best value can be used to review the quality and effectiveness of residential services for drug misusers.

BREAKING DOWN THE "BERLIN WALLS"

S. Wood

Public Finance, June 9th - 12th 2000, p. 18

Outlines proposals by the NHS Confederation for a single funding stream for the care of elderly people. This would allow Primary Care Trusts to commission both health and social care.

(See also Health Service Journal, vol. 110, June 15th 2000, p. 13-14).

THE CARE DEBATE

S. Thornton and J Williams

Guardian Society, June 14th 2000, p. 6-7

Authors argue for and against the proposal that the NHS takes over responsibility for commissioning social care for elderly and disabled people from local authorities.

CARE STANDARDS BODY FACES TOUGH RETRAINING TASK

N. Huber

Community Care, no. 1323, 2000, p. 10-11

The National Care Standards Commission aims to introduce a common qualification and unified training system for inspection staff. There is concern about how the cost of this initiative will be met. The Commission is also likely to face an early shortfall in experienced inspectors which it may attempt to make up by poaching staff from social services departments or using Ofsted inspectors for social care regulation.

CHARGING WITH CARE

Audit Commission

Audit Commission Publications, 2000

Report addresses the questions of why councils charge for domiciliary care services and how well the charges are managed. Councils charge because of pressure from successive governments to maximise revenue and because of the strain placed on domiciliary services by the implementation of community care policies.

Investigation for the management of charging showed that 15% of councils offered no proper welfare benefits advice to service users, and many failed to point out that they had discretion to vary a charge. Some did not make it clear that an appeal against a charging decision was possible, and over 75% had no target times for deciding appeals. Late and inaccurate billing was common, and administrative costs associated with charging were twice as high for some councils as others.

(For comment see Registers Homes and services, vol. 5, 2000, p. 17-18)

A COUNCIL OF PERFECTION?

T. Philpot

Community Care, no. 1327, 2000, p. 28-29

Article maps the road to the formation of the General Social Care Council and examines its implications for social care in England.

IT'S A HEALTHY OUTLOOK AS AGENCIES FORM NEW LINKS

H. Jameson

Municipal Journal, June 16th - 22nd 2000, p. 16-17

Explores the role of the Health Development Agency in helping health and social services to work together to improve public.

LET'S BE FRIENDS

L. Eaton

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, 2000, p. 13-14

Canvass views from leading figures in the fields of health and social care on what the government should do to improve integration of the services.

NHS 'SHOULD BE PROVIDE OF SOCIAL CARE FOR ELDERLY'

N. Timmins

Financial Times, May 30th 2000, p.3

Reports that the NHS Confederation has advised the government that the Health Service should take over responsibility for providing all care for the elderly and disabled from 13 local authorities. This would prevent the elderly going into hospital unnecessarily and ensure quick discharge, either to their own home or to intermediate care.

(See also Financial Times, May 31st 2000, p. 5 : Independent, June 6th 2000, p.2)

OVERLORD FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

S. Ward and G. Ryan

Public Finance, June 16th 2000, p. 13

Integretion of health and social services in England come a step closer as Health Secretary Alan Milburn announced a new post amalgamating the positions of chief executive of the NHS Executive and permanent secretary at the department.

PAID AS YOU LEARN

R. Winchester

Community Care. no. 1322, 2000, p. 14

Reports that some local authorities are paying bursaries to social work students as part of the effort to overcome recruitment difficulties.

REPORT ADDS WEIGHT TO CALLS TO END THE CHARGING LOTTERY

D. Callagham

Community Care, no. 1322, 2000, p. 12-13

Local authority home care charging reveals a "bewildering array" of methods used to determine how much service users should pay, according to the Audit Commission report "Charging with Care". In response, the government is to ask the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Social Services to produce preliminary guidance and it will itself publish a white paper in July 2000 replying to the report of the Royal Commission on Long term Care. The guidance will be used to help local authorities set charges until legislation is passed.

SHAKE-UP OF CARE FOR ELDERLY CAN EASE NHS ILLS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, June 5th 2000, p. 25

Argues that problems of bed-blocking by elderly patients could be eased by transferring responsibility for their social care to the NHS from local authorities.

SOCIAL CARE COMMISSIONING

Anon

Registered Homes and Services, Vol. 5, 2000, p. 18-19

Social services and other organisations have attacked proposals by the NHS Confederation that commissioning of personal social services for older people and people with physical disabilities should be transferred from local authorities to the NHS.

SOCIAL CARE IN RURAL AREAS : DEVELOPING AN AGENDA FOR RESEARCH, POLICY AND PRACTICE

G. Craig and J. Manthorpe

York : York Publishing Services, 2000

Rural areas are sometimes associated with high levels or pockets of deprivation and social exclusion. Difficulties with access, low levels of service provision, isolation, higher costs and lack of choice or quality all contribute to health and social care problems. Despite increasing argument, there is still no firm agreement about the fair allocation of resources to meet the distinctive needs of rural communities. A variety of ways of bringing in funding are used, patchily, to help with resource problems. Many of the difficulties associated with the planning and provision of rural social care are faced by other services, most notably health. Joint approaches and shared thinking appear limited get potentially fruitful. Policy development in many areas does not incorporate on explicit rural dimension and the voices of those living in rural areas are rarely heard.

SOCIAL SERVICES FEAR COMMISSIONING TAKEOVER BY PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS

BN. Huber

Community Care, no. 1326, 2000, p. 2-3

Local authority leaders have called for health secretary Alan Milburn to clarify suggestions that health trusts could take over community care commissioning under radical reforms to the health service. The new primary come trusts could commission and provide social care and health care services for older people.

SUNSHINE OR SHOWERS

Community Care, no. 1325, 2000, p. 22-25

Five social policy and health experts argue for and against the merger of health and social care services.

"SUPER-TRUSTS" TO HELP FREE BEDS

T. Baldwin

Times, June 26th 2000, p. 10

Reports government plans to create a series of ""super-trusts" in which social and health services pool their budgets and produce an integrated programme for the care of elderly people.

(See also Financial Times, June 26th 2000, p. 2)

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