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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2001): Social Care - UK

THE BEST WAY OF DRIVING QUALITY?

F. Rickford

Community Care, no. 1351, 2000, p. 20-21

The Best Value initiative in local government is intended to drive up the quality of services, but at the same time the government requires 2% per year "efficiency savings" as a result of the process. The pressure to cut costs may impact adversely on the pay and conditions of the social care workforce.

CAMPAIGNERS UNIMPRESSED BY GUIDANCE ON HOME CARE CHARGES

J. Waters

Community Care, no. 1355, 2001, p. 12

New guidance from the government to local authorities on charging for home care services lays down basic rules with some flexibility. It allows for some local variation in charging levels, to the disappointment of advocacy groups.

CARE STANDARDS: THE DIRECTORS' VIEW

M. Hake

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 8, 2000, p. 119-120

Assesses the implications of the Care Standards Act, which will:

  • extend regulation to small children's homes, home care and foster care;
  • establish the National Care Standards Commission in England and the National Assembly in Wales as the registration authorities for health and social care regulation;
  • allocate responsibility for early years regulation to Ofsted in England and the National Assembly in Wales;
  • set up the General Social Care Council in England and the Cyngor Gofal Cymru in Wales to regulate the conduct and training of social care workers;
  • revise arrangements for the protection of children and vulnerable adults to help ensure that unsuitable people cannot work with them.

COLD COMFORT

P. McCurry

Community Care, no. 1350, 2000, p. 22-23

Government has allocated £61 million to health authorities to be shared with social services to help cope with Winter pressures. There is concern about whether these funds will be sufficient overall, whether they will be equitably divided between health and social care, and whether there are sufficient nursing home beds and domiciliary care staff available.

FRIEND OR FOE?

C. Lewis

Community Care, no. 1352, 2000, p. 26-27

Reports that the majority of GPs support better integration of health and social services as proposed in the NHS Plan.

GPs NOT READY TO SHARE

R. Rowden

Community Care, no. 1352, 2000, p. 14

Argues that GPs must learn to trust and value social care if joint working is to succeed.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY WORKING AND THE NEW NHS: MORE MESSAGES FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

S. Withington and H. Giller

Managing Community Care, vol. 8, Dec. 2000, p. 24-29

Authors suggest that their recently developed curriculum guidance on multidisciplinary working for DipSW students in Northern Ireland raises some key issues of relevance to health and social care professionals coming to grips with the integrated-working imperative of the NHS plan. Concerns include the possibility of health emerging as the dominant partner, the changed role of the social worker and problems involved in establishing multidisciplinary teams.

THE NHS PLAN: LONG/TERM CARE: CONTINUING CHALLENGES AT THE HEALTH/SOCIAL CARE BOUNDARY

C. Vellenoweth

Managing Community Care, vol. 8, Dec. 2000, p. 15-18

The NHS Plan incorporates the long awaited response of the Government to the report of the Royal Commission on the Costs of Long-Term Care. This article argues the risk of cost shunting between agencies is perpetuated, and that new forms of care, such as intermediate care, will need to be included within the standards assurance of the newly established National Care Standards Commission.

THE NHS PLAN: MAINTAINING THE HUMAN TOUCH

J. Glasby

Managing Community Care, vol. 8, Dec. 2000, p. 11-14

Article considers the implications of the NHS Plan for joint working between health and social care, arguing that the Plan is a flawed document that will complicate rather than improve inter-agency collaboration. After critiquing some of the Plan's main proposals, paper emphasizes the need to retain a central focus on the experience of users.

THE NHS PLAN: WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR COMMUNITY CARE?

J. Robinson et al

Managing Community Care, vol. 8, Dec. 2000, p. 5-10

Article points out dangers of new conflicts between the NHS and local government triggered by the NHS Plan in the areas of compulsory joint commissioning of health and social care services, establishment of care trusts and long-term care funding.

PARTNERSHIP WITH HEALTH: A SURVEY OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Local Government Association

London: 2000

Results of a survey of all 410 local authorities in England and Wales showed that only 1% considered they had a poor relationship with local NHS bodies. Nearly all local authorities with a social services department were involved in partnership working with the NHS or were planning to do so and 93% of authorities reported involvement of the education department. The main obstacle to partnership working concerned difficulties over budgets.

TOWARDS A COMMON CAUSE: A COMPACT FOR CARE

Social Services Inspectorate

Department of Health: 2000

Offers an assessment of the state of joint working between statutory social services and the voluntary sector in seven local authorities. Criticisms include a lack of representation from black and ethnic minority groups, concerns over the developing contract culture, exclusion of organisations not funded by social services from discussions on policy and service development and the failure of consultation to influence policy decisions.

WINNERS AND LOSERS IN FINANCE SHAKE-UP

J. Waters

Community Care, no. 1351, 2000, p. 12

Government is planning to introduce a new "floor and ceiling" funding mechanism for local authorities responsible for social care and education. This means that in financial year 2001/02 no council will get a rise of less than 3.2% or more than 6.5% irrespective of population, but taking account of levels of deprivation. This will divert cash from "rich" areas in London and the South East towards poor areas in Labour heartlands.