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

CALLING TIME ON 9 TO 5

R. Winchester

Community Care, 17-23 April 2003, p. 28-30

Identifies an increasing expectation that social service departments should provide a 24-hour service. Highlights problems it may present and looks at Hampshire's social services experience of offering a 24-hour service.

CARE HOMES FOR ADULTS (18-65) AND SUPPLEMENTARY STANDARDS FOR CARE HOMES ACCOMMODATING YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 16 AND 17: NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS

Department of Health

London: 2003

Revised standards contain changes that relax physical environmental requirements for existing homes registered before April 2002.

(For comment see Registered Homes and Services, vol. 7, p. 161-162).

A CLASH OF CULTURES?

J. Pidgeon

Community Care, 17-23 April 2003, p. 40-41

Examines whether Best Value service reviews are compatible with social services departments striving to operate as learning organisations.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN THE PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES: REALITIES, LIMITATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE MODERNISING AGENDA?

D. Watson

Local Government Studies, vol. 29, 2003, p.33-50

Argues that much of the present government's modernisation policy is based on the imposition of centrally set standards and performance targets. This in fact disempowers local staff, service users, and providers. Thus the policy tools of central government undermine its own commitment to greater service user and provider involvement and prevent services from responding to local needs.

ENGLISH CARE WATCHDOG MUST APPLY CONSISTENCY AND CUT BUREAUCRACY

K. Leason

Community Care, Mar. 27th - Apr. 2nd 2003, p. 16-18

Comments on the performance of the National Care Standards Commission in its first year in operation. Care providers complain that inspections are inconsistent and bureaucratic and that there are unacceptable delays in issuing reports. Inspectors complain of excessive bureaucracy, heavy caseloads, and the system of hot desking.

FACTORS PROMOTING AND OBSTACLES HINDERING JOINT WORKING: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH EVIDENCE

A. Cameron and R. Lart

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 11, 2003, p. 9-17

Reviews joint working between the NHS (National Health Service) and social services. Identifies different models of joint working at strategic, commissioning and operational levels and identifies factors promoting and obstacles hindering their operation.

FUNDING FOR SOCIAL CARE TRAINING

Anon

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 7, 2003, p.170

The £15m of public funding for care worker training allocated for 2003/04 will be used to help employers amass NVQ units across their whole workforce rather than to fund individuals gaining NVQs. Funding will continue to be linked to NCSC requirements for staff development.

IT DOESN'T ADD UP.

P. Schofield

Community Care, 24-30 April 2003, p. 32-33

Examines the inadequate recording of management information by front-line staff in social services departments. Results of a survey are presented.

IT'S NOT A RACE, BUT ..

N. Valios and A. U. Sale

Community Care Apr. 10th - 16th 2003, p. 30-31

Compares development of social care policies in England and Scotland since devolution. Argues that Scotland's provision of long-term care, youth justice and help for the homeless and people with learning difficulties outshines that available in England.

LOCAL PRIORITIES DETRACT FROM EFFORT TO ENSURE FAIRER ACCESS TO SERVICES

R. Winchester

Community Care Apr. 3rd - 9th 2003, p.18

The newly implemented Fair Access to Care initiative introduces a standard national framework for needs assessment. A person's needs will be categorised as critical, substantial, moderate or low based on the risk to their independence should services not be provided. However, local councils will retain powers to set eligibility criteria in the light of resources available. This means that in reality only people with very high needs will receive services.

A MONTH OF UPHEAVAL AS PROFESSION IS BUFFETED BY THE WINDS OF CHANGE

Anon

Community Care, Apr. 10th - 16th 2003, p. 18-19

Highlights the range of policy and practice changes coming into force in April 2003. Covers:

  • the tax credit system;
  • foster carers' national insurance contributions;
  • the Supporting People initiative;
  • working parents' rights;
  • the Fair Access to Care Services framework;
  • Direct Payments;
  • preventive strategies for children at risk;
  • Invalid Care Allowance;
  • inspection of domiciliary care services.

PIONEERS TOGETHER

L. Revans

Community Care, Apr. 3rd - 9th 2003, p. 28-31

Presents case studies of progress in three of the first four care trusts to be set up. Considers their development and their impact in the relationship between health and social care.

PRACTICE TEACHING FACES UNCERTAINTY

A. Worsley

Community Care, Apr. 10th - 16th 2003, p. 36-37

Argues that practice teaching could be undermined by the planned changes in social work training in England. Academic institutions will be responsible for assuring the quality of placements, and may be tempted to settle for "cheap and cheerful" options. Training programmes for practice teachers are also under attack and in danger of being dumbed down. Finally, the term "practice teacher" has disappeared from policy documents and been replaced by "practice assessor". It is unclear, then, who actually does the teaching.

PRIMARY HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SERVICES IN THE UK: PROGRESS TOWARDS PARTNERSHIP?

K. Rummery and A. Coleman

Social Science and Medicine, vol. 56, 2003, p. 1773-1782

Paper examines evidence from the first stage of a three-year longitudinal qualitative and quantitative study of the development of partnership working between primary care groups and trusts and social services departments in England. Concludes that:

  • interprofessional differences between health and social care workers need to be dealt with before joint working can develop;
  • the wider organisations must be prepared to support and accommodate the aims and values of any joint teams;
  • both sides must benefit from the partnership.

REFORM OF THE DISCLOSURE PROCESS

Home Office

London: 2003

Consultation paper seeks views on measures to put the Criminal Records Bureau on a sound footing so that it can achieve its objective of protecting children and vulnerable adults from potentially abusive staff. Proposals include provision of an electronic channel for the application process, and changes to the role of registered bodies in it.
[NB - in this subsequent version, the original paper is included as Annex c, along with the analysis of responses]

REVIEW OF POST-QUALIFYING EDUCATION AND TRAINING

General Social Care Council

2003

Document seeks views on the future of the framework for post-qualifying (PQ) education and training for social workers in England. It outlines the current arrangements for post-qualifying education training, including existing awards and qualifications. It seeks views on the effectiveness and relevance of the framework to make sure it is able to adapt to the needs of the fast-changing social care sector.

SOCIAL SERVICES INSPECTORATE: WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO. 2003 ed.

Social Services Inspectorate

London: DH Publications, 2003

Guide describes how the Social Services Inspectorate assesses the performance of each council with social services responsibilities and how they undertake their inspection work. It shows how their assessments contribute to the overall assessment of the performance of local councils. It also describes how the Inspectorate works with other national bodies which contribute to quality in social care. It finally explains plans for a new Commission for Social Care Inspection which will take over the functions of the SSI.

WALES MAKES PROGRESS AS SCOTTISH REGULATOR STRUGGLES TO FIND ITS FEET

N. Barry and A. Dobson

Community Care Mar. 27th - Apr. 2nd 2003, p. 20-21

Discusses difficulties faced by the new Scottish Care Commission in regulating care services. In contrast, the Care Services Inspectorate for Wales has made good progress through partnership working with providers.

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