News and Comment

News

Local communities can provide councils with a way out of a crisis

Thursday November 8 2012

The question raised by Lord Heseltine’s growth report is how much councils can improve their own performance. One answer is staring them in the face: councils need to rethink their concept of resources to encompass their own communities. That isn’t a euphemism for press-ganging volunteers into doing everything. But when councils redesign services, they should take into… Read More

Study into personal budgets finds encouraging results

Tuesday October 23 2012

One of the liveliest debates in social care at the moment concerns how personal budgets benefit different groups of people in different ways. Investigating this issue in Essex, we found that while personal budgets nearly always contribute to a positive experience for all, there was a marked difference in the benefits derived by older people… Read More

Into the patient pathway

Thursday August 2 2012

Assessment and care planning for a healthy life after cancer is urgent. Macmillan Cancer Support with the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative have developed the concept of health and wellbeing clinics in response to this need. The clinics provide information and services for patients making the shift from treatment to life after cancer, enabling them to… Read More

Comment

Big Society and small business

Friday September 24 2010

Where should the state end and the voluntary sector begin? This is one of the central questions of the Big Society. Supporters argue that the state has smothered grassroots activism in a way that is not only costly, but has actively undermined the ideas and energy of local people to make their lives better. Sceptics,… Read More

Asking the right questions for local government commissioning

Thursday September 23 2010

While much is uncertain about the coalition government’s policies there is undoubtedly a window of opportunity for local government to take the lead relatively unfettered by central and regional government. The coalition government’s spending review framework published in June invites decision makers in local government to ask the following nine questions: Is the activity essential… Read More

Big Society and community cohesion – Ideas from Europe

Tuesday September 21 2010

The Council of Europe asked me to speak recently in Ohrid, Macedonia about inter-cultural dialogue at their 2010 Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue. Based in Strasbourg, France and with 47 member countries, the Council of Europe aims ‘to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human… Read More