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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2006): Social care - UK

Accessibility and equity of health and social care services: exploring the views and experiences of Bangladeshi carers in South Wales, UK

J. Merrell and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.14, 2006, p.197-205

Bangladeshi carers’ awareness of and access to formal support services are discussed applying the dimensions of accessibility and equity. The 20 carers interviewed received limited support from health and social care providers. However, low levels of service uptake were not indicative of low levels of need. Communication difficulties as a result of language barriers significantly impeded awareness, access and uptake of health and social services, especially social services. The language barrier was found to be age and gender related, and there was under-utilisation of professional interpreting services. The perception that mainstream services were unable to meet cultural and religious needs also influenced uptake.

Discrimination, service provision and minority ethnic user views: evidence from research

K. Chahal

Housing, Care and Support, vol.9, Apr. 2006, p.25-28

National evidence highlights the persistent pattern of disadvantage experienced by minority ethnic people in housing. Research also suggests that many minority ethnic users found mainstream services to be inappropriate and unresponsive and preferred culturally competent specialist provision tailored to their needs.

The disintegration of local authority social services departments

D. Birrell

Local Government Studies, vol.32, 2006, p.139-151

Generic social services departments have been a feature of English local authorities since the implementation of the Seebohm Review in 1970. They have had a distinct identity, a largely uniform set of functions and similar organisational structures. The New Labour government has promoted closer collaboration between social services and local NHS bodies. This article identifies some of the models of integration of health and social care now being put into place, including formal partnerships, integrated management, care trusts and fully integrated health and social services. It considers whether these developments, together with the establishment of new children’s trusts, will finally lead to the disintegration of local authority social services departments.

Introducing role and service changes in health and social care: the impact and influence of user involvement in England and Wales

R Young

Social Policy and Society, vol.5, 2006, p.249-268

This paper draws on three different research projects to describe practical experiences of user and carer involvement in moves to integrate health and social care: 1) the evaluation of the 1999 Health Act Section 31 flexibilities encouraging more effective service delivery partnerships between the NHS and local authorities in England; 2) a baseline study of partnership working and flexibilities use in Wales; and 3) the evaluation of the NHS Changing Workforce Programme, which implemented new ways of working to improve patient care across health and social services in England.

Principles into practice

R. Hodson

Community Care, Apr.27th-May 3rd 2006, p.34-35

Article discusses how agencies can support the full use of research evidence to inform work with social care service users. Organisational support falls into the categories of: 1) provision of strategic leadership; 2) making it clear that staff are expected to use research evidence when taking decisions; 3) encouraging staff to keep abreast of research; 4) providing access to research; and 5) supporting research by staff.

Second tier reviews of complaints in health and social care

J. Gulland

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.14, 2006, p.206-214

Each of the English, Welsh and Scottish administrations appears to have accepted the need for an independent review of first-tier complaints in health and England and Wales have also accepted this for social care. It is unclear whether this will be followed in Scotland. Based on a review of recent policy documents and legislation, this article looks at recent changes and proposals and considers the relative merits of the different models in the three administrations.

Social work in a risk society: social and political perspectives

S. A. Webb

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

The book provides a sociological analysis of social work, engaging with current theoretical debates and addressing recent changes in the organisation and operation of the social care profession. Its main focus is on social work practice and the phenomenon of risk.

When the mask slips

K. Leason

Community Care, May 18th-24th 2006, p.26-27

Article discusses the role of the General Social Care Council in regulating social workers’ private lives, and how conduct bringing the profession into disrepute should be defined.

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