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

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR EMPLOYERS OF SOCIAL CARE WORKERS

General Social Care Council

London: 2002

Code requires employers to:

  • make sure that people entering the social care workforce are suitable and understand their roles and responsibilities;
  • have written policies and procedures in place;
  • provide training and development opportunities;
  • promote the codes of practice to social care workers, service users and carers.

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR SOCIAL CARE WORKERS

General Social Care Council

London: 2002

Code requires social care workers to:

  • protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers;
  • strive to establish and maintain their trust and confidence;
  • promote the independence of service users while protecting them from harm;
  • respect the rights of service users while seeking to ensure their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people;
  • uphold public trust and confidence in social care services;
  • be accountable for the quality of their work.

FACT OR FICTION?

R. Winchester

Community Care, Sept. 26th - Oct. 2nd 2002, p. 30-31

The Labour government claims to base its social policies on research evidence of "what works". Article explores ways in which the government tampers with that evidence and twists it to support its own agenda.

FROM WELFARE TO WELL-BEING: THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL CARE

L. Kendall and L. Harker (eds)

London: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2002

Proposes the creation of age-related local social care organisations responsible for meeting the needs of children, adults and older people. These would replace generic local authority social services departments. Report also calls for the creation of a separate child protection service, staffed by specialists.

A GENEALOGY OF EQUALITY: THE CURRICULUM FOR SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION AND TRAINING

H. Walker

London: Woburn Press, 2002

This book looks at changes in the content of social work courses in higher education and explores why they were thought necessary and what their significance is for social work.

GOVERNANCE OF PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES: THE EXPERIENCE OF SOMERSET

E. Peck, P. Gulliver and D. Towell

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 10, 2002, p. 331-338

Paper explores the role of the Joint Commissioning Board in the governance arrangements for health and social care in Somerset. Found that the Board did not play a proactive role in the setting and monitoring of policy and priorities. However it did play a central and constructive role in the governance of partnership as the symbol of interagency working, as the vehicle for sustaining commitment to mental health, and as the method of bringing additional elements of public accountability to health and social care provision.

IF WHITEHALL COULD JUST LET GO.

A. Davies

Community Care, Oct. 10th-16th 2002, p. 34-36

The present thrust of government policy is to integrate health and social care through the implementation of Care Trusts. These are NHS bodies which will not be democratically accountable to local people. Similarly there is pressure to remove child protection services from local authority control to a new justice-based organisation, thus creating another set of barriers across which professionals will have to work. Article goes on to discuss various options for marking health and social care more accountable to local people. This could be achieved by giving local authorities responsibility for commissioning both health and social care, or by passing over control to the proposed new regional assemblies.

INTEGRATED CARE AND STRUCTURAL CHANGE IN ENGLAND: THE CASE OF CARE TRUSTS

B. Hudson

Policy Studies, vol. 23, 2002, p. 77-95

The Labour government which came to power in Britain in 1997 proposed integrating health and social care for vulnerable groups through partnership working. The alternative approach of structural integration of separate organizations was rejected. However in 2000 the government attempted a volte face and in the NHS Plan proposed the creation of Care Trusts which would combine health and social care in one agency. Article identifies ten reasons for treating this model with caution.

LGA RESPONSE TO BED-BLOCKING PROPOSALS

Local Government Association

London: 2002

Government is proposing a new system of reimbursement that would allow the NHS to claim back the cost of delayed discharges from local councils. The Local Government Association has condemned these proposals as costly, unworkable, and based on a flawed analysis of the real problems.

LOCAL HEALTH GROUPS MUST ACT NOW ON UNIFIED ASSESSMENT

L. Hamilton-Kirkwood and G. Conlon

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, no. 17, Oct. 9th 2002, p. 46-47

Local Health Groups in Wales face a tight timescale for implementation of the unified assessment process for health and social care in the community.

MODERN SOCIAL SERVICES: A COMMITMENT TO REFORM

Social Services Inspectorate

2002

Report highlights:

  • staff recruitment and retention problems in all social care sectors;
  • budget pressures;
  • disappointing development of Direct Payment Schemes;
  • concerns over mental health services;
  • the need to increase capacity in older people's services;
  • evidence of good strategic partnerships between the NHS and social services.

PATHWAYS TO IMPROVED SOCIAL SERVICES IN WALES

Social Services Inspectorate for Wales and the Audit Commission

2002

Describes the current state of social services in Wales, drawing on the outcomes of the eight most recent Joint Reviews. Secondly, it reports progress made by the 10 councils who have been working to improve their services following their Joint Review. Identifies the local components needed to secure service improvements, namely:

  • visible leadership,
  • local ownership,
  • a modern management infrastructure
  • an all-embracing user focus.

POSITIVE OUTCOME?

M. Henwood

Community Care, Sept. 26th-Oct. 2nd 2002, p. 40-42

Describes Outcomes of Social Care for Adults (OSCA), a programme of research commissioned by the Department of Health in 1997 as part of the growing policy emphasis on evidence based practice.

PARTNERSHIP WORKING AND ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GUIDANCE ON CONTINUING HEALTH CARE?

S. Abbott and H. Lewis

Social Policy & Administration, vol. 36, 2002, p. 532-543

Articles examines government initiatives designed to stimulate joint working between health and social services. It concludes that it is difficult to draw a clear boundary between health care (free at the point of delivery) and social care (which can be means tested)

REBIRTH OF A PROFESSION?

F. Rickford

Community Care, Oct. 10th-16th 2002, p. 28-29

The General Social Care Council's codes of conduct for workers and employers have been welcomed as a way of enhancing the status of social care. However a similar code of conduct for nurses has not raised standards and has been used to justify disciplining individuals for mistakes.

ROCKING THE BOAT

J. Ross

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Oct. 3rd 2002, p. 22-23

Government's proposals for cross-charging between parties responsible for delayed discharges from hospital threaten the development of partnerships between health and social care. It is regrettable that the system is being developed before primary care trusts have had a chance to influence commissioning. In order to solve the problem of delayed discharges, primary and community based health and social care need to be improved. Argues that reimbursements from the charging system should be given to primary care trusts rather than hospitals to give them greater influence over the integration of health and social care.

SHAKE UP FOR "MONOLITHIC" SOCIAL SERVICES

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Oct. 17th 2002, p.4

Reports government plans to break up local authority social services departments and replace them with specialised services for children and the elderly. Children's services would be run by Children's Trusts, which would be based in local authorities and would finance and commission services. Services for the elderly would be run by Care Trusts based within the NHS. There would be an enhanced role for the voluntary and charitable sector in service provision, and more choice for consumers.

(See also Guardian, Oct. 17th 2002, p. 14; Independent, Oct. 17th 2002, p.2)

SOCIAL CARE FACES MASS EXODUS AS DEMOGRAPHIC TIME BOMB TICKS DOWN

C. Jerrom

Community Care, Sept. 12th - 18th 2002, p. 18-20

The social care workforce is ageing, leading to fears of a mass exodus as employees retire. However low pay, image problems and the need for previous experience are deterring young people from applying.

SOCIAL CARE'S WIDER ROLE

G. Wistow

Community Care, Sept. 26th - Oct. 2nd 2002, p. 34-35

Current UK government policy emphasises that social services should be available to all, not targeted on "social casualties". At the individual level policies have focused on maximising choice and maintaining independence.

SERVICES AT THE CROSSROADS

L. Hughes

Community Care, Oct. 3rd - 9th 2002, p. 36-37

Local authority social services departments have over time withdrawn from preventive, community development and group work. These roles have been filled by a raft of new multi-disciplinary agencies such as Sure Start, Connections and Youth Offending Teams. These agencies recruit staff from a variety of backgrounds including social work and are developing their own core competencies and training programmes.

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL WORK

N. Thompson

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 32, 2002, p. 711-722

Paper examines the role of social movements such as black power, grey power and gay liberation in promoting social justice and considers the influence of such movements on the development of innovatory form social work practice. It explores the fundamental tension between social work as a force for social regulation and as a force for social development and emancipation.

STAR TEAMS DROP IN

M. Hunter

Community Care, Sept, 12th-18th 2002, p. 32-33

Discusses the role of private sector consultants in improving the performance of failing social services departments.

WHEN HOPE OF MAKING A DIFFERENCE DISAPPEARS, THE STAFF SOON FOLLOW

M. MacSween

Community Care, Sept. 12th-18th 2002, p. 18-20

People join the social services workforce in the hope of improving the lives of individual clients and local communities. However staff feel undervalued, and frustrated by paperwork, lack of resources, targets and lack of autonomy. This is causing them to vote with their feet and leave.

'YOU SAY TOMATO': CULTURE AS A SIGNIFIER OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

E. Peck and A. Crawford

Mental Health Review, vol. 7, Sept. 2002, p. 23-26

Heightened awareness of how things are done within organisations has highlighted the perceived differences between partner organisations in the NHS and social services. Paper draws on a selection of recently published and unpublished material to examine how staff in the NHS and social services perceive and experience differences between them.

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