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

ADVISORY REPORT PROPOSING CHANGES TO REGULATIONS AND NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS

National Care Standards Commission

2003

The report advises government that changes need to be made to improve the care standards system, to increase protection for individuals and to reduce bureaucracy for care providers. The National Minimum Standards need to be amended to cut unnecessary paperwork paperwork, close loopholes which could threaten people's quality of care, and ensure that regulation doesn't restrict an individual's quality of life.

CARE HOME CRISIS IN WALES

Anon

Registered Homes and Services, Vol. 8, 2003, p.1-2

There is a crisis of confidence in the independent care home sector in Wales and many providers are withdrawing from the market. Care Forum Wales, which represents independent health and social care providers, has issued a "manifesto for change" to improve performance and secure the future for the sector.

CHANGES TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES CHARGING REGIME FOR COMMUNITY EQUIPMENT AND INTERMEDIATE CARE SERVICES

Department of Health

London: 2003 (LAC (2003) 14)

The guidance explains the changes to local authorities' social services charging regime for intermediate care and community equipment services resulting from the Community Care (Delayed Discharges) Act 2003. Intermediate care must be provided free for six weeks. Community equipment and minor housing adaptations costs £1,000 or less are also to be supplied free to those eligible.

COMMAND PERFORMANCE

R. Winchester

Community Care, May 29th-June 4th 2003, p.32-33

Social care staff will have to re-register with the General Social Care Council every three years. At re-registration they will have to demonstrate that they have kept their knowledge and skills up to date. They will have to negotiate time off for training with their employers who will have to arrange and fund cover.

DESPERATELY SEEKING FUSION: ON "JOINED UP THINKING" "HOLISTIC PRACTICE" AND THE NEW ECONOMY OF WELFARE PROFESSIONAL POWER

C. Allen

British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 54, 2003, p.287-306

The article shows how some versions of "joined-up" thinking manifest themselves in holistic practices that can "see everything", "know everything" and "do anything", resulting in social workers controlling every aspect of welfare recipients lives. This "holistic power" is seen as infallible and its failure to produce "active bodies" necessitates the creation of secondary "joined up powers" that individualise blame and exclude those to blame from welfare resources. These secondary powers match the social disciplines enforced by one welfare agency (e.g. responsibility to work enforced by the employment service) with legal rights under another agency (e.g. the right to social housing) so that breach of the former leads to exclusion from the latter.

DOUBTS REMAIN OVER GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSALS FOR SERVICE DELIVERY ROLE

S. Gillen

Community Care, June 5th-11th 2003, p.16-18

Government is preparing plans for investing in the voluntary sector to boost its capacity for delivering public services. Funding will be concentrated on organisations offering social care, with campaign groups losing out. There are concerns that charities dependent on government money through grants and contracts will lose their independence and become simply instruments of public policy. Finally, voluntary sector staff are historically low paid, and charities may have difficulty in recruiting and retaining trained staff to deliver the services.

A FLEA IN THE EAR NEEDED

B. Heiser

Community Care, May 29th-June 4th 2003, p.34-35

The article argues that the National Care Standards Commission needs freedom to exercise discretion in regulatory technique and in setting service standards required. IN exchange for those freedoms, the Commission should be accountable to a statutory body made up of service users and their representatives.

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