Archives for April 27th, 2005

MAKING A DIFFERENCE – DIRECT PAYMENTS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 27 April, 2005

This report summarises the project by the Department of Health and the Regulatory Impact Unit in the Cabinet Office which was aimed at reducing the bureaucracy associated with direct payments for the delivery of social care. Direct payments are designed to create flexibility in the provision of social services. Giving money in place of social care services so people have a greater choice over their lives and decisions about how care is delivered. Individuals who choose direct payments, include people with physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, HIV/AIDS mental health problems, older people and parents of disabled children.Direct payments for social work services have been developed in order that individuals can have a greater choice and control over their lives. Instead of providing services to individuals directly, payments are made from social work departments to individuals, who can then use them to purchase services and employ staff. Local councils now have a duty, not just a power, to make direct payments.

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COUNCIL’S CALL CENTRE TAKES TOP AWARD

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 April, 2005

Liverpool city council has won a prestigious national accolade at the Planning Innovation awards. Liverpool Direct, set up by the authority in1998 as part of its drive to put customers first, has been named the best call-centre in the country.The council says the centre has changed customer services in the city beyond recognition with people now able to contact the council at any time of the day or night on every day of the year. In the seven years since it was opened it has grown from having just 12 staff to employing more than 300 and it is currently handling 50,000 calls per week. It is estimated that for nine out of every ten callers issues are resolved immediately without the person having to be put through to another department.

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STUDY SAYS DRUG SERVICES FAIL FAMILIES

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 April, 2005

Drug treatment and prevention services are overlooking the devastating impact that problem drug users have on their families, according to a research report published today. ‘Drugs in the family, produced for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, details the damage done to close relatives, including younger brothers and sisters who are at added risk of developing drug problems themselves.The study, by Marina Barnard, a Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Drug Misuse Research, is based on in-depth interviews with drugs users, their parents and younger siblings. It paints a picture of families being drawn into a downward spiral of problems ranging from stress and anxiety related health problems to stealing by drug users from family members to fund their habit.

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