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Modernising social workCritical considerations$
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John Harris and Vicky White

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420060

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420060.001.0001

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Modernisation and the delivery of user-centred services

Modernisation and the delivery of user-centred services

(p.107) Six Modernisation and the delivery of user-centred services
Modernising social work

Denise Tanner

Policy Press

This chapter examines specific areas of conflict and constraint in achieving a ‘modernising’ vision of services that promote independence, well being, and choice, focusing mainly on older people's experiences of social-care services. After summarising what quality of life means from older people's perspectives, it discusses areas of practice in which various facets of the modernisation agenda's managerialism appear to be obstructing the delivery of user-centred services. One is the tension between the need for timely intervention that supports older people's coping strategies and the managerial policies and practices which seek to ration, restrict, and delay service provision. Another is the significance of disjunctions between policy discourses, managerial concerns, and service-user understandings and prioritisations of need. The chapter also assesses the potential of current policy directions, in particular the extension of direct payments and the introduction of individual budgets, to deliver support that is more closely attuned to the needs and preferences of service users.

Keywords:   modernisation, social-care services, older people, quality of life, managerialism, user-centred services, coping strategies, direct payments, individual budgets, service users

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