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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2005): Welfare State - UK

Dare to care

J. Neuberger

Public Finance, June 10th-16th 2005, p.34-36

The present risk averse culture in the UK public services is preventing professionals such as nurses and teachers from showing simple human kindness. Nurses are afraid to give a drink to a dying person in case they choke, leading to accusations of malpractice. Teachers will not physically comfort an injured child.

A joined-up approach to user participation in public services: strengthening the 'participation chain'

R. Simmons and J. Birchall

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.260-283 Government in the UK is keen to promote the participation of users in the planning, provision and evaluation of public services. However, participation often works better in principle than in practice. This article attempts to build a detailed model of what motivates service users to participate. People are motivated by both perceived individual benefits and a sense of community solidarity. In addition they need resources (e.g. time) and to be mobilised (e.g. through a sense of righteous indignation). Finally, cultural and institutional factors can work to both foster and frustrate attempts at political participation.

Joined up government and privacy in the United Kingdom: managing tensions between data protection and social policy. Part II.

C. Bellamy, Perri 6 and C. Raab

Public Administration, vol.83, 2005, p.393-415

The New Labour government's promotion of "joined up working" in the public services requires extensive data sharing. This raises tensions with some principles of privacy and data protection law. Article examines the accommodation between the imperatives of data sharing and privacy in the fields of crime reduction and public protection, welfare fraud, and the interface between health and social care. The government has sought to reduce the tension between the imperatives by means of detailed guidelines. However, authors conclude that this approach is potentially unstable and may not be sustainable.

Our lips are sealed

A.U. Sale

Community Care, June 2nd-8th 2005, p.24-25

Many voluntary organisations both provide services and campaign on behalf of their client group. There are concerns that, if too much of their funding for service provision comes from government contracts, their freedom to criticise government policies will be curtailed.

Voluntary sector resists wider role in public services

N. Timmins

Financial Times, June 29th 2005, p.5

A government drive to get the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors to deliver more public services is failing, according to the National Audit Office. Gordon Brown, Chancellor, has repeatedly promoted the idea of the voluntary sector providing more public services across sectors including family welfare, health, housing and disability. But the National Audit Office said little has changed in practice.

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