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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): Social Care - UK

BUILDING A UNITED FRONT

C Glendinning and others

Community Care, Nov 14th-20th 2002, p.30-32

Section 31 of the Health Act 1999 allowed the NHS and local authorities "flexibilities" to pool budgets, delegate commissioning responsibilities to a single organisation, and employ health and social care workers within a single body. Article presents an overview of how the Health Act flexibilities are being used in practice to promote joint working.

THE CARE STANDARDS TRIBUNAL

Anon

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 7, 2002, p.88-90

From April 2002 appeals against decisions of the National Care Standards Commission under the Care Standards Act 2000 have fallen to a newly created Care Standards Tribunal. Reports interview with Judge David Pearl, President of the new Tribunal, about its work.

COMMON ASSAULT

R Winchester

Community Care, Nov 14th-20th 2002, p.24-26

Discusses the cultural factors and racial prejudice which make it difficult for minority ethnic victims of domestic violence to seek help. Emphasises the need for culturally specific services. Focuses on the plight of women asylum seekers, whose right to services may be in doubt.

CONFUSE AND RULE

P Gosling

Public Finance, Nov 1st-7th 2002, p.20-23

The Health Secretary announced a radical reform of social services in a speech to the Association of Directors of Social Services. This involves the break-up of social service departments of local authorities and their replacement by children's trusts and care trusts for adult services. However, government information about the proposed new structures is both sketchy and contradictory.

A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE ON QUALITY WITHIN THE PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES: PROSPECTS AND CONCERNS

D Watson

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 32, 2002, p.877-891

Paper considers the creation and development of quality in the personal social services over the past decade. Argues that the concept of quality, as applied in the current organisational ethos, does not critically challenge existing power structures as it is contained within a consumerist agenda that reinforces and enhances managerial power and control. Whilst limiting service provider and user involvement to that of complaint or comment on areas of provision, it does not necessarily influence policy decisions.

DELIVERING EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE: QUALITY, EXCELLENCE AND PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

M Moullin

Buckingham: Open University Press, 2002

This book explores how organisations in health and social care are striving to implement the ideas of organisational excellence, performance measurement and process improvement in the context of large numbers of government initiatives. It illustrates its points using a range of case studies and examples from within health and social care.

IT'S TIME TO CHANGE COURSE

L Kendall

Community Care, Oct 17th-23rd 2002, p.34-36

Argues that social care should meet universal needs and enjoy support from all levels of society. It needs to focus on delivering high quality, outcome-oriented services and to invest more effort in prevention. Suggests that greater investment in preventive services could be facilitated by the creation of a national child protection agency. Finally argues that social care services need to be under local democratic control.

LONDON CALLING

S Burke

Community Care, Nov. 14th-20th 2002, p.36

Social services in London support higher numbers of users with more diverse needs than those in the provinces. The proposed new allocation formulae being considered as part of the government's review of local authority funding would divert up to £140m of resources away from the capital.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE, THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION AND THE NATIONAL CARE STANDARDS COMMISSION

2002

Memorandum sets out how the three bodies will work together to regulate and enforce health and safety in Britain's care homes and independent healthcare establishments.

PLEDGE TO HELP COUNCILS PAY HOSPITAL BED-BLOCKING FINES

K Guha

Financial Times, November 29th 2002, p.2

In a concession to councils fighting government plans to fine them for "bed-blocking", Alan Milburn, the Health Secretary, promised an extra £100m a year to cover the fines for the first three years. His offer was branded inadequate by the Local Government Association.

TWO SOCIAL WORKERS FIRED OVER CLIMBIÉ CASE

V Dodd

The Guardian, November 13th 2002, p.10

Two social workers at the centre of the Victoria Climbie scandal have been sacked for gross misconduct, their employer announced yesterday, following two separate confidential hearings.

TRADING FAIRLY IN THE CARE SECTOR?

P Grose

Caring Times, Nov. 2002, p.12-13

Discusses the implications of a recent decision of the Competition Commission Appeals Tribunal, Northern Ireland in the case of Bettercare Group Ltd vs Director General of Fair Trading. The Bettercare Group runs care homes in Belfast. Ninety-nine percent of placements in their homes are made by the local health and social services trust. The trust also runs homes of its own and pays higher fees for the residents in these than it pays Bettercare. The Tribunal decided that the trust should be regarded as "an undertaking" under the Competition Act 1998. The trust can now be sued under the same Act for abusing its dominant position in the market to place Bettercare at a disadvantage.

USER CONTROL IN A BEST VALUE REVIEW OF DIRECT PAYMENTS PROJECT: A CASE STUDY

C Evans

MCC: Building Knowledge for Integrated Care, vol. 10, October 2002, p.39-44

Service users in Wiltshire have had the opportunity of demonstrating how they could undertake a user-controlled Best Value review including showing the variety of ways they chose to evaluate the service - in this case Direct Payments. Using the Best Value framework of the four Cs, they compared support services and costings with those in other local authority areas, designed consultancy surveys and challenged care managers about their knowledge of the service. Learning from the project has implications for all those involved in social care Best Value reviews and the participation of users.

WILL THEY TAKE THE BAIT?

R Winchester

Community Care, Oct 31st-Nov 6th 2002, p.30-31

Government is offering an annual bursary of £3,600 from September 2003 to students undertaking the Diploma in Social Work or the new three-year social care degree. It is debatable whether this small financial incentive will encourage more people to apply.

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