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Medicare First comments on the impact of the Care Act on social workers career development

The new legislation, which is set to be introduced in April 2015, will raise standards of quality of care for patients. The key changes that will affect social workers are:

Social workers will now have to assess and evaluate carers to decide whether they require support for particular needs.

Professionals will be required to provide greater assistance in the planning of care processes.

Social workers must ensure they’re up to date with heightened safe-guarding legislation.

The Personal Budgets Allowance will mean there will be a more personalised and tailored approach to care plans for both patients and carers.

According to Medicare First, the Care Act could create new opportunities for social workers that embrace the skills required. Managing director, Andrew Anastasiou commented on the changes, “At first, the additional training may be quite daunting however the changes outlined in the Act could demonstrably benefit the careers of many social workers in the long-term. The changes embodied in the Act are likely to increase the initial workload for professionals who will now be required to assess carers as well as patients. However, developing improved holistic competencies will be a good career move in the long run.”

“The Act will certainly benefit the career development of social workers. Professionals who embrace the changes and develop the required skills through training and development programmes are likely to have more career options available to them and should be highly sought after. Individuals with well-rounded skill sets will always be in demand and building on this will surely improve the opportunities available.”

According to Medicare First, these changes will have extensive implications on the training and development of social care professionals as Managing Director, Andrew Anastasiou explains. “In the first instance it’s important to point out that the act is a positive move when it comes to maintaining high standards of patient care and improving carer support. Any legislation that means patients have greater control and understanding of their care plans is something we’re firmly behind.  The act sees a shift from focusing on what services authorities can provide, to what care the individual needs.  The Personal Budgets Allowance perfectly highlights this. Giving patients the opportunity to spend money on bespoke plans means they’ll have the chance to experience truly individual care that’s tailored to them.  For social workers and employers there may be an initial increase in workload, however, many will utilise the lead up period before the Act comes into play to enact these changes. All the required skills are valuable and transferable and should enable access to improved levels of social care.”

“The legislation puts carers on the same footing as those they care for. This means that social workers will now also be required to assess and evaluate whether a carer is in need of support, and in many cases professionals will need to undertake training in order to be able to identify the core needs of these individuals. However, it’s not only social workers who the regulatory changes will affect employers will have to ensure all professionals are up to date with the requisite skills by supporting them through training and development schemes. The changes to the safeguarding legislation are also extremely welcome. Social workers will become the most appropriate point of contact in reporting suspected abuse and must be able to handle sensitive enquiries, potentially related to suspected exploitation or neglect, in a skilled way in order to minimise emotional distress. Of course, many social workers may be involved in this type of work already, however some may still require training to meet the demands of the additional assessments they will have to undertake. This is complex work and requires a multitude of skills to delicately deal with the issue, so it’s critical they’re given the appropriate training by employers to be able to handle these situations effectively.”


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