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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 1999): Social Care - UK

EXTRA CASH IS TOO LATE TO PREVENT COUNCIL CUTS

L. Steele
Community Care, no. 1261, 1999, p. 8-9.

In spite of increased government funding for social services, councils are still finding it necessary to make cuts. This is partly because the new monies are earmarked for specific projects linked to government priorities and targets, not existing service commitments. Secondly, the special transitional grant for adult residential care that, before the community care reforms in 1993, was funded centrally through social security, will end on April 1st.

HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 5, 1999, special supplement. 20 p.

Considers the prospects for integration of health and social services from the points of view of the NHS Executive, carers and managers. Looks at the successful integration of health and social services in Wiltshire, and evaluates recent government thinking on integration in the light of research conducted at the frontline between health and social care.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF BEST VALUE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES

P. Chapman, R. Pickford and R. Greig
Managing Community Care, vol. 7, 1999, p. 7-14

Points to two dangers to be avoided in implementing best value in social care. Best value should not be seen as a technical process concerned only with costings and performance measures. The second failure is to see it as part of the wider agenda, and to become disabled by what look like competing strategic, planning and service performance systems.

JOINED-UP THINKERS

A. Thompson
Community Care, no. 1261, 1999, p. 24-25

Looks at how the Social Services Inspectorate is gearing up to carry out the additional responsibilities given it by the Modernising Social Services white paper. It is heavily engaged in developing the new services performance assessment framework. In addition to its normal inspections and its joint reviews with the Audit Commission, it will carry out annual reviews of the social services aspects of authorities new local performance plans, and additional inspections of those councils where particular concerns have been identified. The Inspectorate is also changing its boundary lines to fit in with those of the NHS and Regional Offices of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to facilitate joint working.

A NEW APPROACH TO SOCIAL SERVICES PERFORMANCE

Department of Health
London: 1999

Proposes a set of 46 new performance indicators for social services, including unit costs of residential care, the levels of employment gained by care leavers and adult suicide rates. There are four 'interface' indicators where local government and the NHS will be expected to work closely together and will be judged by the same criteria. These are emergency psychiatric readmissions, admissions for older people, delayed discharge from hospital for older people, and a second hospital discharge indicator. Performance tables will be published annually from autumn this year, and councils will be required to undertake ongoing reviews of social services over a five-year period, including consultation.

(See also Community Care, no. 1261, 1999, p. 1)

OUT OF STEP

A. Phillips
Health Service Journal, vol. 109, Feb. 25 1999, p. 25.

Argues that joint working between health and social services as envisioned by the government will be problematic if the services fail to recognise the cultural chasm between them.

OVER THE WALL

B. Hudson
Health Service Journal, vol. 109, March 4th 1999, p. 16-17.

Argues that the government's proposals for reforming the social services will lead to the creation of National Social Services controlled centrally and working in parallel with the National Health Service. National objectives set centrally will determine the vision of the services; national priorities guidance will lay down the desired service outcomes; national service frameworks will set out the standards to be met; and performance assessment frameworks will attempt to ensure that all of these are duly implemented.

REUNITING NATURAL PARTNERS OR CONSTRUCTING THE TOWER OF BABEL

R. Lilley
British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 5, 1999, p. 58-60.

Argues that some functions of social services, such as children's services and family support, have nothing to do with health and should stay within the purview of local authorities. Health related functions of the social services should be subsumed into health. Envisages a new breed of generic health and social worker designing and providing services that are seamless and designed around the experience of the patient. Proposes, in the longer term, the establishment of seven regional assemblies for England, each with the responsibility for delivering public services. Under such conditions, a regional health and personal social services committee responsible for well-defined services seems possible.

WHAT THE PAPER SAYS. PART 1

S. Balloch
Community Care, no. 1262, 1999, p. 21.

Article places the White Paper on social services in context, and asks whether the government's ambitions for their future are likely to be realised. Praises the commitment to user involvement, expresses doubts as to whether the Best Value framework will be helpful since indicators will measure quantitative rather than qualitative aspects of service, and fears that inter-agency working will make it more difficult for users to be involved in management and planning.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Health Committee
London: TSO, 1998. (House of Commons papers, Session 1998-99; HC 74)

Concludes that the problems of collaboration between health and social services will not be properly resolved until there is an integrated health and social care system whether this is within the NHS, within local government or within some new, separate organisation.

SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT, BUREAU-PROFESSIONALISM, NEW MANAGERIALISM: THE LABOUR PROCESS OF STATE SOCIAL WORK

J. Harris
British Journal of Social Work, vol. 28, 1998, p. 839-862.

Argues that social work as an occupation is likely to remain a more heavily constrained part of the state's welfare apparatus than it was in the 1970s/early 1980s. The three main political parties have all endorsed the reforms introduced by the Thatcher governments so that new managerialism is likely to endure in social work regardless of which political party is in power.

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