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‘How the Care Bill must change to put social work at the heart of reformed care system’

As the Care Bill returns to Parliament, Bernard Walker explains how The College of Social Work intends to press for changes to the legislation that will ensure social workers play a leading role in its implementation.   The government’s decision to put individual well-being at the heart of the Care Bill  has the potential to […]

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Book review: ‘A practical resource for promoting person-centred care’

A guide for creating person-centred organisations proves a useful and accessible resource, writes social worker Brid Joy  The growth of personalisation in health and social care means many organisations in the statutory and voluntary sectors are radically reforming their ways of working. Creating person-centred organisations by Stephen Stirk and Helen Sanderson (published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers) is a useful […]

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Social workers lead fightback against personal budgets bureaucracy

Along with death and taxes, one of the few certainties in recent years was that Community Care’s annual survey of social care practitioners’ views on personalisation would highlight widespread disquiet about levels of bureaucracy. So it was with this year’s survey, whose most concerning result was that 77% of respondents thought their council had not […]

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Social work on the move: how mobile working can improve care management

In Southend, social workers are conducting assessments and uploading them onto the council’s care management system without having to enter the office. The result is significantly reduced bureaucracy. By Mark Hunter Despite today’s ultra-light, ultra-powerful, tablets, phablets, smartphones and netbooks, mobile technology is proving remarkably resistant to routine use on the front line of social […]

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Putting trust in social workers to curb personal budgets bureaucracy

In Essex, 70% of assessments are now signed off by the social worker carrying them out, freeing up managers’ time and leading to a much quicker service for clients. By Tristan Donovan A social work approach that thins out bureaucracy, empowers practitioners, frees up managers’ time and delivers higher-quality assessments appears too good to be […]

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Getting rid of teams and forms: one council’s route to simpler personal budgets

In Camden, specialist and locality teams have been ditched in favour of a single service designed to avoid clients being passed from pillar to post in search of social care support. Two of the chief sources of the bureaucracy that has undermined personal budgets are the volume of paperwork that social workers have to process […]

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Learning from the best to transform personal budgets

By borrowing from top-performing authorities, Norfolk has turned round its approach to personal budgets, significantly boosting take-up and reducing bureaucracy. By Mark Hunter Two years ago the system of self-directed support (SDS) at Norfolk council was in serious trouble. The system was slow, inefficient and bureaucratic. Staff and service users were becoming increasingly frustrated. Moreover, […]

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Saying goodbye to unnecessary paperwork in personalisation

Changes to the self-directed support process in Portsmouth have cut the amount of time social workers spend on assessments and associated paperwork by 70%. While self-directed support was designed to deliver personalisation for people receiving care and support, one of its major outcomes has been another ‘p’, paperwork, generated by the creation of multiple and […]

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Ask, Wait, Listen: How social workers should work with people who struggle to speak or write

Practitioners working with stroke survivors who struggle to speak, read or write must seek out the best method of communication to ensure effective assessments, says former social worker Susan Betts. Working as the Stroke Association as an information, advice and support co-ordinator has given me a new perspective on how hard the benefits and social […]

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What role for social work in creating dementia-friendly communities?

The concept of “dementia-friendly communities” has entered the lexicon in recent years to capture the idea that people with dementia and their carers need more than early diagnosis, good and personalised care and support and effective healthcare. The idea – which combines tackling the stigma that dementia carries with ensuring businesses and services take practical […]

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