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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2004): Social Care - UK

THE AGE OF THE INQUIRY

N. Stanley and J. Manthorpe (editors)

London: Routledge, 2004

Inquiries into health and social care attract public interest and wide media coverage and are influential in shaping policy and service provision. This book examines inquiries across a range of services including child protection tragedies, mental health homicides, abuse in learning disability services and in residential and nursing care for older people. The contributors discuss a wide range of inquiries in terms of there processes, findings and applications.

HOTEL-STYLE INSPECTIONS WILL TRY TO ENSURE 5-STAR CARE FOR THE HELPLESS

A. Frean

The Times, Nov. 22nd 2004, p.3

Children's homes and care homes for elderly people are to be given rankings, so that future residents will know whether to expect five star or boarding-house treatment and service. The move, part of radical shake-up of social care regulation and inspection outlined in a consultation document from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, will also include the replacement of pre-arranged visits with unannounced spot checks.

MAKING A HOME FROM HOME

C. Thompson

Community Care, Nov.11th-17th 2004, p.36-37

Describes how a Welsh local authority developed an induction training and appraisal programme lasting nine months and set up a comprehensive package of support and financial benefits to help integrate four social workers recruited from overseas.

PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO HEALTH AND PERSONAL SOCIAL SERVICES IN NORTHERN IRELAND, 2004: FINAL REPORT

Research and Evaluation Services

Belfast: Department of Health, Social Services and Public safety, 2004

Survey consisted of telephone interviews with 1500 people aged 18 and over and 13 discussion groups with "hard-to-reach" client groups. Report indicates satisfaction levels with primary care, social care, hospital and public health services as well as overall satisfaction with the HPSS. Results show that:

  • proportion of respondents satisfied with health and social care services rose from 74% in 2003 to 79% in 2004;
  • 94% of respondents were satisfied with their GP.

SHAPE UP AND LISTEN

P. Beresford and F. Branfield

Community Care, Nov.4th-10th 2004, p.40-41

Shaping Our Lives is an independent national organisation representing adult social care users. It has developed a vision of adult social care based on social models and a rights-based approach.

STRATEGIC ERRORS

J. Burton

Caring Times, Nov.2004, p.20 + 24

Regulation and inspection of care homes were introduced following a series of abuse scandals in the 1970s and 1980s. This approach to quality improvement has led to a proliferation of bureaucratic procedures which must be followed, but which do not in practice improve the lives of residents.

SUSPENDING JUDGEMENT ON ABUSE

B. Ferguson

Caring Times, Nov. 2004, p.18 + 24

The Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) system requires the suspension and blacklisting of care home workers suspected of abuse. Home owners fear being sued by aggrieved workers if the allegations prove false.

WHAT CAN RURAL AGENCIES DO TO ADDRESS THE ADDITIONAL COSTS OF RURAL SERVICES? A TYPOLOGY OF RURAL SERVICE PROVISION

S. Asthana and J. Halliday

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.12, 2004, p.457-465

Rural service providers in England face significant challenges in achieving acceptable service levels in the face of scattered populations and poor transport links. Paper explores a range of approaches which have been used by rural agencies which explicitly address the challenges of service delivery in a rural context. Authors draw on their own knowledge of service reconfiguration within one Health Action Zone to present a typology of innovative responses at the health-social care interface. Six broad categories of service innovation are identified:

  • the use of whole-systems approaches;
  • the substitution of key workers;
  • professional outreach;
  • patient transport schemes;
  • information for service users;
  • information for service providers.

WHO CARES? BUILDING THE SOCIAL CARE WORKFORCE

D. Roche and J. Rankin

London: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2004

Examines how we can build a professional social care workforce to meet the growing challenges the sector faces. Recommends that:

  • a systematic review of the challenges and demands facing social care should be commissioned;
  • a better conception of social care's relationship with the NHS would help to promote an understanding of what it can achieve and the resources it needs to deliver;
  • flexible pay levels reflecting local need should be introduced;
  • regulatory bodies should not be restructured, but should be allowed to mature;
  • a statutory duty should be laid on local authorities to develop a workforce strategy.
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