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Welfare reform on the Web (October 2006): Social care - UK

Decision and debate: addressing the implications of the POVA banning list

J. Manthorpe and M. Stevens

Journal of Adult Protection, vol.8, Aug. 2006, p.3-14

This article draws on research analysing the first 100 referrals to the current Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) banning scheme. It identifies four issues commonly arising in referrals: 1) difficulties in establishing that staff misconduct had taken place; 2) disagreements over the seriousness of the misconduct; 3) doubt about the significance of the events, which were open to competing interpretations; and 4) mitigating circumstances. The discussion centres on the complexity of decision-making in the enforcement of regulations on institutional abuse.

Developing inclusive partnerships: user-defined outcomes, networking, and knowledge: a case study

P. Beresford and F. Branfield

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.14, 2006, p.436-444

Two major developments have been associated with the reorientation of United Kingdom health and social care policy in recent years. These are a new emphasis, firstly, on quality and outcome measures, and secondly on service user involvement. However, these two policy strands have developed separately, with the introduction of initiatives for user involvement and initiatives for quality improvement. Nevertheless, it cannot be assumed that what policy makers, providers and purchasers would value and prioritise as good quality would necessarily coincide with what service users want. This paper describes the findings of three projects undertaken by Shaping Our Lives. These studies confirmed that service user concepts of quality and outcomes may differ significantly from those currently employed; moreover service users are able to offer a sophisticated model of what outcome measures might look like if they were centrally involved in their definition and application.

The evaluation of health and social care partnerships: an analysis of approaches and synthesis for the future

H. Dickinson

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.14, 2006, p.375-383

This paper provides an overview of a wide range of approaches employed to evaluate health and social care partnerships. It suggests that method-led approaches to evaluations have proved to be insufficiently complex, and have largely failed to overcome the problem of attributing changes specifically to partnership arrangements. Theory-led approaches seem better able to accommodate these complexities, and particularly, the combination of Theory of Change and Realistic Evaluation approaches may prove fruitful. However practical difficulties have emerged with these methods, which may be overcome by interpreting Theory of Change and Realistic Evaluation approaches through a framework of critical realism.

On the way back

M. Hunter

Community Care, Sept. 7th-13th 2006, p.32-33

Care trusts were first launched in 2002 to offer integrated health and social care services, but did not “catch on”. However there is now renewed interest in their creation, through the merger of local primary care trusts and adult social services departments, following the publication of the White Paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say which strongly advocates service integration. Mergers of primary care trusts with adult social services create organisations large enough to fight off external threats while retaining a local focus.

Reach for the stars

G. Hopkins

Community Care, Sept.14th-20th 2006, p.28-30

A star rating system for residential care homes is to be introduced in 2007 by the Commission for Social Care Inspection. While most residential care providers welcome the move, there are concerns about possible inconsistencies in approach to ratings by different inspectors. Inaccurate or unfair star ratings could force some homes to close.

A seamless transition

M. Forbes

Community Care, Sept.21st-27th 2006, p.40-41

The Centre for the Development of Social Care Practice is a partnership between Luton Council and he University of Bedfordshire. It is unique in that it offers practice learning opportunities to social work students both before and after qualification.

“Setting the scene” for protection of vulnerable adults (POVA) investigations

G. Parsons

Journal of Adult Protection, vol.8, Aug. 2006, p.39-45

Current government guidance proposes a multidisciplinary approach to protecting vulnerable adults from abuse and identifies social services, health and the police as key players. Lead responsibility for co-ordination of the response to allegations of abuse is given to social services. This article proposes three alternative organisational models for dealing with referrals and investigations. The discussion also suggests different sets of arrangements for achieving effective multi-agency working.

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