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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2006): Care of the Elderly - UK

Continuity and connectivity: who will stabilise the systems that support health care outside hospital?

B. Sang

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.14, Feb. 2006, p.38-43

The success of the UK government’s new policies promoting health care outside of hospitals will depend on achievement of fully integrated services. Using as a case study the evaluation of a community response team, the paper argues that past attempts to achieve such service integration with frail elderly people have been short-lived because of the restructuring of the major commissioning organisations.

S. Womack

Daily Telegraph, February 7th 2006, p. 1

Thousands of elders are at risk as nearly half of England’s care homes fail to meet minimum standards for managing prescribed drugs according to the Commission for Social Care Inspection’s report which follows spot checks and investigations of public complaints. Little improvement has been made since 2004. Recent reports refer to drugs being used to control residents, and doctors misdiagnosing dementia owing to confusion with the side effects from allergy drugs for example.

[See also Times, February 7th 2006, p.20; Guardian, February 7th, 2006, p.8; Independent, February 7th 2006, p.10.]

B. Roe and R. Beech (editors)

Oxford: Blackwell, 2005

Intermediate care comprises strategies which allow early discharge from acute care, prevent admission and re-admission to acute care and avoid bed-blocking in both acute and long-term residential care. Continuing care is delivered on a long-term basis in a variety of settings and often includes an element of rehabilitation. The book argues for consideration of intermediate and continuing care as part of the continuum of care options. It also explores policy, practice and current issues in intermediate and continuing care.

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Feb.23rd-Mar. 1st 2006, p.30-31

Government intends to trial “one-stop shops” modelled on Sure Start children’s centres where older people can access services including social care, education, health and housing. Article presents a case study of a community centre in rural Shropshire that could act as a model.

A. Taylor

Financial Times, January 27th 2006, p. 2

Government is planning a package of measures to reduce pensioner poverty and improve the quality of life of the elderly. The proposals include financial incentives for local authorities to improve take-up of council tax benefit, introduction of “one-stop-shops” providing a single gateway to services for the elderly, and provision of free off-peak bus travel from April 2006.

E. Matthews and E. Russell

Oxford: Radcliffe, 2005

The book explores the highly topical issue of health care rationing on the basis of age and presents a critical analysis of the nature of the possible crisis. Its in-depth ethical analysis of the complex medical, social and moral issues adopts an interdisciplinary and international approach.

“What matters is what works”? How discourses of modernization have both silenced and limited debate on domiciliary care for older people

P. Scourfield

Critical Social Policy, issue 86, 2006, p.5-30

Article argues that policymakers should consider the expansion of local authority run home care services for older people. In-house home care services would be better placed to integrate with health provision and would be more likely to be person-centred, flexible and reliable than services provided under contract. However, such a proposal has little chance of being seriously considered by New Labour, whose modernising agenda draws on powerful discourses that effectively shut out any opportunity to revive public sector provision.

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