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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2005): Social Care - UK

CHARITIES READY TO PLAY WITH THE BIG BOYS BUT SAY 'LET'S BE FAIR'

W. Little

Health Service Journal, Vol.115, Jan. 27th 2005, p.14-15

The government is at last recognising the potential of the voluntary sector in service delivery, but many organisations say that, despite the political rhetoric, they are still being short-changed. Charities say they need greater commitment from government and a system that will not leave them taking on all the risk.

CONSULTATION ON GETTING RID OF THE TERMINAL ILLNESS (TI) CATEGORY IN CARE HOMES

Commission for Social care Inspection

London: 2005

The Commission believes that the "terminally ill" category for care homes in England is now outdated, as it suggests that only specially registered homex can care for people facing the end of their lives.

DISCHARGING RESPONSIBILITIES? DELAYED HOSPITAL DISCHARGES AND THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE DIVIDE.

J. Glasby

Journal of Social Policy, vol.33, 2004, p.593-604

Article reviews the research evidence on hospital discharge to identify the problems involved. These include:

  • failure to give patients and their carers adequate notice of discharge;
  • hospital-based delays;
  • failure of health and social care practitioners to work effectively together;
  • lack of attention to the needs of carers;
  • structural barriers such as separate funding streams.

Author goes on to present a new framework for understanding and responding to the problems associated with delayed hospital discharge and those of partnership working between health and social care generally.

DONCASTER DEVOLVES BUT KEEPS ITS HEART BEATING IN THE CENTRE

M. Samuel

Community Care, Jan. 20th-26th 2005, p.20-21

Reports on Doncaster Council's proposals to devolve the delivery of all its services to neighbourhood level, scrapping all service departments on the way. This includes social care, which other councils have been reluctant to devolve to sub-council level.

GOODWILL IS NOT ENOUGH

L. Tickle

Community Care, Jan. 6th-12th 2005, p.24-25

In smaller charities untrained volunteers can be left by themselves supervising very vulnerable or potentially violent clients. Two new initiatives have recently been launched to help charities to better manage their volunteers: Investing in Volunteers and the National Occupational Standards for Managing Volunteers.

LOCAL AUTHORITY FINES: PENNY WISE, POUND FOOLISH

P.H. Millard

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 10, 2004, p.366-370

The Community Care (Delayed Discharges Act, etc) 2003 introduced fines for social services departments responsible for acute beds being blocked by patients for whom alternative care had not been arranged. The fines have reduced delayed discharges in the short term, thanks in part to extra cash injected into social services by the government. Article argues that the root cause of delayed discharges lies not in social services' inefficiency, but in the running down of hospital-based rehabilitative and community-supportive services.

PARTNERS IN TIME

M. Henwood

Community Care, Jan. 6th-12th 2005, p.30-31

Government is planning to transfer staff from seven government agencies to SCIE to form a Care Services Improvement Partnership. Article draws lessons for the new Partnership from the work of the successful Change Agent Team at the Department of Health. Finds that the Partnership can contribute more than the sum of its parts, while also recognising the need for caution and clarity around the ends and means of service improvement.

UNDERSTANDING COMPLEX TRAJECTORIES IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE PROVISION

D. Allen, L. Griffiths and P. Lyne

Sociology of Health and Illness, vol.26, 2004, p.1008-1030

Paper suggests that Strauss and colleagues' work on illness trajectories can be combined with Elias's game model to produce a conceptual model that can assist understanding of why integration of health and social care is so difficult. Offers an approach, centred on the notion of a caring trajectory game, that focuses on the relationship between trajectories of care and the micro-organisation of health and social services. Paper illustrates the utility of the framework by applying it to a specific patient undergoing rehabilitation following a first acute stroke.

WALES SET TO BLUR BOUNDARIES AND SHARE ITS WORKFORCE

D. Hayes

Community Care, Jan. 6th-12th 2005, p.14-15

The Welsh Local Government Association has produced proposals for reforming the nation's poorly performing social services. It suggests moving the focus from individual local authority services to partnerships between councils. Services could be organised regionally, with councils sharing workers or using more private and voluntary sector providers.

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