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

CARE TRUSTS ON THE BACK BURNER AS INTEREST DROPS

P Smith

Health Service Journal, vol.111, July 19th 2001, p.8-9.

Reports that the setting up of formally constituted care trusts could be shelved as primary care trusts exploit the flexibilities built into the Health and Social Care Act to develop partnerships with local councils.

HEALTH ACT FLEXIBILITIES: FIRST STEPS

L Kurunmäki, P Miller and J Keen

Health Care UK, Spring 2001, p.88-93.

This article focuses on the idea of 'joined-up' working which currently dominates government policy in its attempt to modernise public services. The NHS Plan has given added impetus to this policy. It made partnership working between health and social care appear to be a necessity rather than an option. Paper looks at the background to previous joint partnerships, the research issues that have arisen and policy challenges.

THE JANUS EXPERIENCE

S Simmons-Lewis

Health Service Journal, vol.111, June 28th 2001, p.32-33.

Article investigates joint appointments through interviews with Richard Humphries, who combines the posts of Chief Executive of Herefordshire Health Authority and Director of Health, Housing and Social Care in Herefordshire, and with Julia Ross, who is Chief Executive of Barking and Dagenham Primary Care Trust as well as Barking and Dagenham Borough Director of Social Services.

LOOK EAST

P McCurry

Community Care, no.1376, 2001, p.22-23.

Article looks at why Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney social services have performed differently although they are faced with similar problems and challenges. Hackney's problems are arguably rooted in chaos and corruption in the council in the mid-1990s, and in serious underfunding. On the other hand Tower Hamlets has enjoyed a stable political environment since 1994 and a fewer staff recruitment problems. Finally Newham Council has introduced an ambitious programme of change. Staff have experienced constant upheaval and turbulence, leading to low morale and high turnover.

NETWORK NEWS

O Gill

Community Care, no.1380, 2001, p.26-27.

This article discusses the findings of a local study commissioned by Barnardo's on the importance of providing support for families in difficulty. Government guidelines require welfare professionals to take a more "ecological" approach. In order for this to happen there needs to be more research at a neighbourhood level to understand patterns. Welfare professionals need to develop some as the same skills of the anthropologist as they work with families in their area.

PUBLIC SERVICES TAKE CENTRE STAGE IN NEW TERM

L Steele

Community Care, no.1377, 2001, p.12-13.

Predicts that the Labour government will, in its second term, press ahead with the integration of health and social care. There will probably also be clashes between government and the unions over private sector involvement in public service delivery. Reform of the Mental Health Act and of services for people with learning difficulties may be put on the back burner.

THE SCRUTINY MUTINY

P Corrigan

Health Service Journal, vol.111, June 28th 2001, p.35.

Describes a pilot scrutiny by Lewisham Council of health and social services for special needs children under eight. Results were positive. Article concludes that the system of scrutiny of local health services by the local council could have real benefits.

SMITH AIMS TO MAKE WALLS COME TUMBLING DOWN

J Snell

Community Care, no.1378, 2001, p.10-11.

Interview with newly appointed Health Minister Jacqui Smith. She aims to boost the status of social work as a profession, and broaden the recruitment pool to eliminate staff shortages.

THE URGE TO MERGE

T Agnew

Health Service Journal, vol.111, June 28th 2001, p.30-31.

Discusses concerns among health and social care professionals about Care Trusts as a mechanism for integrating health and social care. It is argued that many of the powers needed to deliver integrated services are already available under the Health Act 1999 flexibilities. Care Trusts are therefore only one option for delivering integrated services, not a universal panacea. Enthusiasm for Care Trusts in greatest in areas such as Wiltshire and Bexley which already have a history of successful joint working.

WHAT PRICE JUSTICE?

K Bowgett

Volunteering, no.69, 2001, p.10-11.

Discusses the implications of the launch of the new Criminal Records Bureau for the voluntary sector. The Bureau is designed to be a one-stop-shop which will liaise with the police on behalf of organisations who want criminal records checks carried out on potential employees or volunteers.

WHICH BLAIR PROJECT? COMMUNITARIANISM, SOCIAL AUTHORITARIANISM AND SOCIAL WORK

I Butler and M Drakeford

Journal of Social Work, vol.1, 2001, p.7-19.

Social work has, under the Labour government 1997-2001, become part of an incorporative agenda whereby its function is predominantly to ensure that difficult and troublesome individuals are made to accept prevailing social norms. It has not become inclusive in a way that permits a radical practice to better serve the recipients of social work services.