Community Care, July 29th- Aug 4th 2004, p.34-35
The Bichard Inquiry has recommended the establishment of a central register of people considered suitable to work with children and vulnerable adults. Persons not on the register would not be hired. The article considers how such a register would operate in practice.
Caring Times, June 2004, p.12
The article calls for the provision of good quality local health and social care services that would obviate the need for consumer choice.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2004 (Foundations; 914)
Research results reviewed for this study indicate that black and minority ethnic users felt mainstream services were often inappropriate for their needs and based on stereotypes and prejudices about needs. Many minority ethnic users, having experienced racial discrimination in mainstream services, wanted specialist, culturally competent provision. There were too few black and minority ethnic staff in mainstream services, and some of the providers had made little attempt to change this. Common myths about informal support networks in minority ethnic communities were widely accepted as fact, but their existence could not be taken for granted.
Caring Times, June 2004, p.14 and 20
The article calls for a new approach to care home regulation and inspection that would focus on practice rather than audit of records. Inspectors should also be consistent in their interpretation of care standards regulations so that true National Minimum Standards can emerge.
N. Valios, A.U. Sale and R. Winchester
Community Care, Aug 26th-Sept 1st 2004, p.28-31
Government has appointed "Tsars" to tackle a wide range of health and social care issues. A Tsar's job is to drive forward changes, advise the government on policy and champion their specialist area. The article looks at what the main social care Tsars have achieved and what people in their sector think of them.
Commission for Social Care Inspection
Stage 1 of the new procedure will involve complainants raising the issue with their local council in the first instance. Stage 2 will see the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) taking responsibility for the independent review of complaints. CSCI will set up a complaint review service to take decisions on which complaints are accepted for review. Complainants will be offered one of four options:
The Times, Sept. 7th 2004, p.2
Nearly 10,000 care home places were lost in 2003/04, bringing the total decline since 1996 to 89,000. This is attributed to the low fees paid by local authorities. There are now severe shortages of places in large cities.
The review analyses data from inspections and complaints investigations, together with questionnaires and interviews with older people and young people living in care homes. When inspected, 45% of care homes for older people and 36% of care homes for children were found to have breached at least one regulation, prompting the Care Commission to set out formal requirements for remedial action in their inspection reports. The requirements covered issues such as protecting residents' welfare, staffing, record keeping, improvements to facilities and complaints procedures. However, a survey of 800 older people in care homes showed that 84% were happy with their quality of care. Focus groups involving young people showed that 66% were unhappy with some aspect of their care, and almost half believed that they were not treated with respect.
Community Care, Sept. 9th-15th 2004, p.38-39
Current policy in health and social care focuses on better co-ordination of services and various forms of joint working to reduce boundaries between organisations. The author argues that this approach may simply aggravate existing problems and threaten the continued existence of an independent social work profession. Instead of top-down policies promoting structural change there needs to be a recognition of the importance of multiple perspectives at the local level, and respect for the local ecology of professional practice.