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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2000): Social Care - UK

MILBURN DEMANDS 'EXCELLENCE NOT EXCUSES' FROM LOCAL AUTHORITIES

N. Huber

Community Care, no. 1297, 1999, p.2-3

Reports speech by Alan Milburn to the annual social services conference in which he unveiled three initiatives to improve the quality of social care. These are:

  • a National Social Care Institute of Excellence;
  • a green paper on Quality in Social Care;
  • a national strategy for excellence in social services, which will forge common standards.

NATIONAL TRAINING STRATEGY RECEIVES MIXED RECEPTION

N. Huber

Community Care, no.1298, 1999, p.10-11

TOPSS has unveiled a training strategy for the social care workforce covering staff in local authorities and the voluntary sector. Although broadly welcomed by organisations in the field, concerns are emerging about the practicality of some of the targets and the financial knock-on-effects.

ONE JOB, TWO SKILLS

D. Sims

Community Care, no. 1301, 1999, p.26

Argues that the employment of joint practitioners trained in both learning difficulty nursing and social work can help to bring down the Berlin wall between health and social services.

PROFESSIONALS DIVIDED OVER GOVERNMENT PLAN FOR CENTRALISED INSPECTION BODY

N. Huber

Community Care, no. 1302, 1999, p.2-3

Reports response to the inclusion of a National Care Standards Commission for inspection and regulation in the Care Standards Bill. The Commission will be launched in 2002 and will regulate and inspect service across all social care to national standards.

READING THE RIGHTS ACT

J. Hirst

Community Care, no. 1301, 1999, p.20-22

Explores the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 for social care, with special emphasis on children and mental health service users.

SOCIAL SERVICES FAILING TO MEET LEGAL OBLIGATIONS

C. Norton

Independent, Nov. 24th 1999, p.13

Summarises results of a review of 150 social service departments in England. The departments were assessed against 35 performance indicators, including inspection of children's homes, the number of times children were moved between foster homes, and the proportion of elderly, disabled and mentally-ill adults receiving help so that they could remain at home. Results showed wide variations in standards, with one in ten departments performing so poorly as to be put on an 'at risk' register.

(See also Times, Nov. 24th 1999, p.8: Guardian, Nov. 24th 1999, p.6: Community Care, no.1300 1999, p.2-3)

SPARKS FLY OVER PLANS TO TAKE OVER FAILING DEPARTMENTS

N. Huber

Community Care, no.1301 1999, p.10-11

Reports response to government plans to have failing social services departments taken over by neighbouring local authorities. While some claim such plans would be unworkable, others would welcome help if it were offered through partnership with a neighbouring authority.

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