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To what extent did the restructuring of the Personal Social Services between 1990 and 1997 aid the delivery of Community Care?

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Introduction

To what extent did the restructuring of the Personal Social Services between 1990 and 1997 aid the delivery of Community Care? The concept of community care is not a modern phenomenon, its origins stretch as far back as the 1834 Poor law amendment act. To define community care is not an easy task; it has euphoric connotations, romantic notions of warmth and feeling, welcoming individuals that may need welfare and medical support back into communities. In reality community care does not display such a rosy picture, many individuals are placed back into communities from whence they came that they no longer recognise, communities that are apprehensive about accepting such individuals back. Bulmer (1987) argues that there is two clear definitions of community from a social care arena, firstly the focus is upon local social relations within a geographical area, the second is the sense of belonging which is also alluded to in the concept of community care, Bulmer goes on to explain that although an individual can be part of a geographical neighbourhood, it does not mean they are part of a community. Community care is at present a government policy, expressed in a white paper which was finally implemented through the 1990 NHS ...read more.

Middle

The Griffiths report was followed by a White paper, called 'Caring for People', this subsequently led to the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act, and it implemented Griffith's recommendations except 'ring fence' funding and Community Care Ministers (Samways, 2002). The 1990 Act was one the most influential in the history of community care, it meant a major restructuring of Personal Social Services, community care would now consist of a managed market, and Social Workers were now recast as Care Managers. These new roles adopted two slices of much broader Social Work roles, firstly the individualistic counselling Social Work role and the Community Social Work social care planning role, they would have a selection of individual cases which would benefit from intensive assessment, resulting in the best possible pattern of service to the individual (Payne, pg81, 1995). Responsibility lay with them to present a 'seamless' service to the client by a purchaser provider split, negotiating with a variety of agencies to provide the most appropriate service to the individual, collaboration of all three of the 'welfare giants' (Social Services, NHS, Accommodation) was paramount in providing an efficient service to the end user. ...read more.

Conclusion

The current system is failing; more needs to be done to spread good practice nationally' (Royal Commission, 1999) The Royal commission independent report highlights the main problems, the lack of a universal system, less controllable system of finance and the need to comprehensively and universally have good practice in all geographical areas. Unfortunately the restructuring that Personal Social Services underwent through the implementation of the Community Care Act of 1990 did nothing substantial to ensure that this would happen. It was a haphazard process which put too much pressure on the independent sector to manage and successfully control a welfare system which had been evolving for at least two hundred years. To conclude the negative consequences far out way any aids that might have been experienced during the turbulent years in which the Community Care Act of 1990 was enforced, Personal Social Service's came under enormous pressure to perform in its new role as both purchaser and provider of services with no real support network, their new role as aforementioned was not eased through collaboration with other agencies, it resulted in a system which was fraught with difficulties, Personal Social Service was hindered by the Community Care Act of 1990, not aided. 1 ...read more.

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