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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2002): Social Care - UK - Community Care

CARE STANDARDS ACT 2000: (2) DOMICILIARY CARE AND OTHER SERVICES

J. Dow

Managing Community Care, vol. 9 Dec. 2001, p. 40-43

The National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) will regulate standards of domiciliary care for the first time. Article looks at the provisions of the Care Standards Act relating to domiciliary care and considers some of the issues that will arise when developing national minimum standards. It also looks at other care services regulated by the NCSC, including nurses' agencies and children's homes.

INFORMAL CARERS OF CANCER PATIENTS: WHAT ARE THEIR UNMET PSYCHOSOCIAL NEEDS?

K. Soothill et al

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 464-475

Paper draws on data generated in a three year UK study (1997-2000) of the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and their main carers. Forty-three per cent of carers had significant unmet needs. They were more likely to be those whose relationship to the patient was not that of partner or spouse, more likely to have other caring responsibilities, and less likely to have friends or relations to call upon for help. Carers with unmet needs were also more likely to be in poor health or to be caring for a patient who had reached the palliation only phase of their cancer journey. Items of significant unmet need clustered around aspects of managing daily life, emotions and social identity for a sizeable minority of carers. Paper considers how these widespread concerns can be addressed.

MOVEMENT AND CHANGE: INDEPENDENT SECTOR DOMICILIARY CARE PROVIDERS BETWEEN 1995 AND 1999

P. Ware et al

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 334-340

The domiciliary care market is still relatively young, with many small but growing businesses. The majority of providers offer a comprehensive service and do not seek to specialise with particular user groups. There are continued increases in the independent sector share of the home-care market overall, but considerable differences in the split between in-house and independent sector services in individual authorities. Spot or call-off contracts are still the most common form of contract, although there is a growing range of contracting arrangements on offer. However there are continuing problems with delayed payments and a common perception that in-house services receive favourable treatment. The majority of providers indicated that it was becoming harder to recruit suitable care staff, although once in place there was less difficulty in retaining them.

NEEDS-LED ASSESSMENT: THE CHALLENGES AND THE REALITY

B. Parry-Jones and J. Soulsby

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 414-428

Paper reports on a longitudinal qualitative study of assessment practices of a small sample of community care practitioners in North Wales. Practitioners indicated that whilst they welcomed the needs-led philosophy, putting it into practice was difficult, if not impossible. The main constraints were a lack of resources (financial, service provision, and staffing) and the conceptual difficulty of separating "need" from "need for a particular service". Ever tightening budgets and service eligibility criteria over the period of the study indicate that a shift in focus from assessment of need to rationing has taken place.

TRENDS IN INFORMAL CARE IN GREAT BRITAIN DURING THE 1990s

M. Hirst

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 348-357

During the 1990s caring activity intensified, with increases in the number of carers with sole responsibility for the person cared for, the number of hours per week devoted to informal care, and the numbers of people involved in the provision of personal care and help with mobility. These trends were associated with increased spouse care and parents caring for children under 16; caring for elderly parents who lived in a different household to that of the carer also increased. At the same time provision of informal care by friends and neighbours diminished.

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