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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2005): Social Care - Overseas

Citizen satisfaction survey: a national review of the delivery of social services in the new South Africa

Z. Tshandu

International Review of Administrative Sciences, vol.71, 2005, p.493-519

The Public Service Commission in South Africa has developed tools and methodologies to promote the incorporation of citizens' views into decision-making about how public services should be delivered. One of the tools developed was a citizen satisfaction survey that was piloted by the Department of Health, Social Development, Housing and Education in 2001/02. Paper argues that use of citizen satisfaction surveys improves the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery, as services are designed according to the needs of users. They also show up the gap between citizens' expectations and the reality they experience as public service users.

Using pooled budgets to integrate health and welfare services: a comparison of experiments in England and Sweden

E.-L. Hultberg and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.13, 2005, p.531-541

Separate funding streams can constitute major barriers to the integration of health and social care services. Both England and Sweden have recently experimented with initiatives that allow specific funding streams to be pooled and budgets for clusters of services unified. Paper presents evidence on the impact of pooled budgets in the two countries. Evaluations of the two experiments show striking similarities. Pooled budgets in both countries allowed local health and social services managers and local politicians to overcome narrow sectoral and sectional interests. However, both experiments encountered initial resistance through different cultures and ways of working on the part of different professional groups. Moreover, there remains a lack of evidence that interdisciplinary collaboration actually results in improved quality of care for the patient or improves cost-effectiveness. Finally, because the pooling of budgets remains optional in both countries, there is a risk that new inequities in service provision will be introduced, as some groups benefit while others do not.

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