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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2007): Welfare state - UK

Building on progress: families

H.M. Government

London: Cabinet Office, Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, 2007

This strategy document justifies state interference in family life in two ways: first, for enabling citizens to achieve the best possible outcomes for their families, and second, for improving the equity of these outcomes. It suggests that a three pronged approach of supporting families, enabling a work-life balance, and addressing the needs of the hardest to reach will build on progress so far.

A citizen-led coalition for integrated care

B. Sang

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 15, June 2007, p. 44-48

This paper details the emergence of a user-led movement focused on self-management of long-term conditions that is beginning to transcend the usual categories of patient, carer and user. It argues that this coalition will begin to drive forward integrated care, by putting citizen users at the centre of a working partnership with providers and practitioners, and by providing the leadership that will enable an integrated service system through co-creation and collaborative learning.

Departmental report 2007

Department of Health

London: TSO, 2007 (Cm 7093)

The Department of Health is responsible for the stewardship of over 90 billion of public funds. This report, its seventeenth annual report, plays a key role in the Department's accountability to Parliament for its management of the public money invested in health and social care. It provides a comprehensive overview of spending and investment programmes and of the system reforms accompanying this investment. It focuses on the continuous improvements being delivered for people using health and social care services and on the Department's progress against its Public Service Agreements. The report also sets out the Department's plans for future years. In particular, it focuses on activities and improvements planned for 2007-08. The outcome of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) in the autumn will set the future financial context for health and social care.

Get together

R. Vize and others

Health Service Journal, vol.117, July 12th 2007, p. 22-27

The Audit Commission is developing a new framework for inspection of a range of local public services that will replace the current comprehensive performance assessment. The new regime will be more outcome focused and it will reflect not just the Audit Commission's judgements or performance indicator results but the views of local people, service users and other inspectorates. In this article, a panel of experts discusses how the new regime will affect their work.

Let's make money by regurgitating stuff about the poor

M. Reid

The Times, 23rd July, 2007; p.17

Melanie Reid vents her frustration at the 'poverty industry', which according to her, is a highly lucrative circle comprised of social work professionals, academics and social researchers that exploits the poor to justify and maintain its own existence. The findings and recommendations of current poverty studies in the UK and elsewhere are, according to Reid, simply statements of the obvious with no commitment to action or practical policy.

Local area agreements: strategic facilitators for integrated care?

M. Watson

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.15, June 2007, p. 41-43

Local area agreements (LAAs) are meant to set out the priorities for a local area covering four policy domains over a three-year timeframe. They are agreed between central government, local authorities and other key partners in the area and aim to deliver better outcomes for the community in the fields of: 1) services for children and young people; 2) safer and stronger communities; 3) healthier communities and older people; and 4) economic development and enterprise. This article looks at research on the experiences of those delivering LAAs in local authorities which outlined practical steps that need to be taken to support frontline teams grappling with the challenges that arise in taking forward integrated care delivery.

Social policy. 3rd ed.

J. Baldock, N. Manning and S. Vickerstaff (editors)

Oxford: OUP, 2007

The book provides comprehensive coverage of a wide variety of social policy and welfare issues. Its central objective is to show how social research can inform social policy debates. The book focuses mainly on social policy in the United Kingdom, but frequent comparisons are drawn with developments elsewhere in the European Union and the United States. Updates to this edition cover Labour's administration (1997 to date), taking into account the commitments made by Labour in their 2005 general election campaign. The chapters are written in a non technical way and are supported by detailed case study material, summaries and discussion questions. Each chapter also contains clear chapter objectives, a glossary and suggestions for further reading. New to this edition are:

  1. All chapters have been thoroughly reviewed to take into account recent changes in British and European social policy
  2. A brand new chapter, chapter 21, has been added to cover globalization and social policy
  3. Increased coverage of welfare consumption and welfare users; young carers; race and ethnicity; the social controls of welfare; and social policy and the EU
  4. Online resource centre a range of resources including an online glossary and web links.

Understanding the mixed economy of welfare

M. Powell (editor)

Bristol: Policy Press, 2007

Although state provision may have dominated in Britain since 1945, there is a growing movement towards welfare pluralism - a mixed economy of welfare - involving private, voluntary and informal sectors. Understanding this movement and the concepts, policies and theories driving it is a vital ingredient in the analysis of modern social policy. The book explores how the mixed economy of welfare links with important conceptual and policy debates. Combining theoretical and empirical perspectives on the changing nature of welfare, it:

  1. explores the components of the key concepts of the mixed economy of welfare and the social division of welfare
  2. analyses the issues of the production, finance and regulation of welfare
  3. locates these issues in the context of New Labour's social policy
  4. examines the wider international dimensions of the concepts.

The wealthfare state?

S. Smith

Roof, July/Aug. 2007, p. 42-43

Ten years of rising prices mean that The UK's stock of housing is worth over three and a half trillion pounds. Most of this is in the hands of owner-occupiers. People, with government encouragement, are increasingly looking to their housing assets to fund a range of basic household needs. Housing wealth is replacing state safety nets as a source of social security in hard times.

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