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

BEWARE MERGER MANIA

B. Holman

Community Care, no. 1328, 2000, p. 14

Argues that the new vogue for merging children's services with other council departments such as education or housing may not be in the best interests of deprived children. Such mergers may lead to an increase in bureaucracy and the marginalisation of social work.

CAN TEAMWORK SOLVE THE STAFFING CRISIS?

L. Green

Community Care, July 27th - Aug. 2nd 2000, p. 10-11

Attributes the recruitment crisis in social work to low pay, poor morale in the profession and high workloads. The image, pay and status of social workers need to be improved to attract more young people into the profession.

CAN'T PAY, WONT' PAY

T. Shifrin

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Aug. 3rd 2000, p. 14-15

The government has ruled out free personal care for older and disabled people, opting instead for free nursing care. There is considerable confusion over what is meant by nursing care and how it differs from personal care.

(See also Community Care, no. 1333, 2000, p. 5)

CARE SECTOR HOPES TO BURY NHS MERGER PROPOSAL

R. Winchester

Community Care, no. 1328, 2000, p. 10-11

Reports growing resistance to proposals by the NHS Confederation for the absorption of social care services for older people and the disabled into the NHS.

THE HOLE IN THE PLAN

T. Harding

Community Care, no. 1333, 2000, p. 23

Argues that the National Plan for the NHS fails to address the main inequities surrounding the funding of long term care for older and disabled people. Greater and more determined efforts will be made to help those with a prospect of recovery through improved rehabilitation and domicilary services. There will be no resolution for the chronically sick who need personal care, which remain means-tested, to survive.

HONEYMOON YEAR

C. Glendinning and A. Coleman

Community Care, no. 1329, 2000, p. 24-25

Reports results of a survey of how social service representatives on Primary Care Group Boards are copying with their new role and contributing to the wider partnership agenda.

LISTENING TO PEOPLE

Department of Health

London: 2000

Proposes only modest, incremental changes to the present social services complaints procedure, tidying up arrangements which derive from the Children Act 1989 and the NHS and Community Care Act 1990. There are modest proposals in relation to timescales for investigations, informal or local resolutions of complaints, independent persons, advocacy and freezing decisions. A section on differences between NHS and local authority procedures between NHS and local authority procedures states the need for a more joined up approach.

MIXED BLESSING

J. Miles and J. Ransford

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Aug. 24th 2000, p. 14-15

Reports comment on plans to merge health and social care services to form "care trusts" to deliver integrated and seamless care to elderly people and other client groups. No firm plans have yet been produced as regards the structure, governance and practical implications of "care trusts".

NATIONAL CONTRACTS MOVE UP THE AGENDA

D. Callaghan

Community Care, no. 1331, 2000, p. 10-11

When local authorities commission services from independent sector providers, the process of drawing up the contract can be labour and resource intensive for both parties. Article looks at progress towards the development of common contracts for all services.

NHS PLAN TO INCLUDE FREE LONG-TERM CARE

N. Timmins

Financial Times, July 14th 2000, p. 4

Predicts that the government will propose a package of measures for funding long-term care for the elderly and disabled as part of its NHS reform plan. The measures will include: free nursing care; assurance of free intermediate care for people discharged from hospital for rehabilitation; giving people the choice of councils taking a charge over their property and recovering the cost of care from their estate or selling their home; and national guidance on charges for domiciliary care. However people in residential homes will continue to pay accommodation and personal care costs.

(See also Daily Telegraph, July 17th 2000, p. 1; Times, July 17th 2000, p. 9; Financial Times, July 18th 2000, p. 9)

OPPORTUNITIES KNOCK

R. Winchester

Community Care, no. 1333 2000, p. 8

The Chief Inspector of the Social Services Inspectorate welcomes the opportunities for joint working by health and social services opened by the government's plan for the NHS.

PLAN HERALDS A BETTER CARE SYSTEM

R. Winchester

Community Care, no. 1333 2000, p. 10-11

Welcomes aspects of the National Plan for the NHS which encourage and reward successful partnership working between health authorities, social services departments and primary care trusts.

SOCIAL SERVICES AND PRIMARY CARE GROUPS: A WINDOW OF COLLABORATIVE OPPORTUNITY?

B. Hudson

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 8, 2000, p. 242-250

Paper presents findings of two investigations into the relationship between social services and primary care groups: a national postal questionnaire and a series of regional seminars. Results suggest that significant progress is being made in bringing together the agendas and activities of the PCGs and Social Services, and to a lesser extent the wider local authority. Impediments to collaboration identified by this survey and other sources include: an initial focus on internal PCG affairs; the influence of local histories and agency overload and reactive decision-making.

SOCIAL SERVICES PLANS TO FOLLOW HEALTH MODEL

N. Timmins

Financial Times, July 19th 2000, p. 9

Reports that the government is to translate key parts of the management model it is using for education and health into social services. A new Social Care Institute for Excellence will produce guidelines on high quality care and on models of practice. These will form the basis of inspection by the National Care Standards Commission.

USER PARTICIPATION IN SETTING AND REGULATING STANDARDS FOR SOCIAL CARE

D. Brand

Managing Community Care, vol. 8, Aug. 2000, p. 7-10

Article considers issues to be addressed in enabling users to be fully involved in the work of the General Social Council and the Care Standards Commission.

WORTH THE PRICE?

F. Rickford and P. McCurry

Community Care, no. 1331, 2000, p. 18-20

Social services departments complain that preparing for a visit by joint review inspection teams is costly and labour intensive. Discussion is followed by a case study of the experience of Slough Social Services Department in preparing for a review.

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