First published in 1997, this volume is about the challenge of introducing business-originated concepts of quality assurance, personal social services are currently confronted with all over Europe. Undoubtedly, the new orientation towards a more business-like approach in social welfare settings will raise professionalism, "client-orientation" and controlling (instead of mere inspection). There is evidence, however, that the specificities of personal social services are not always taken into account if it comes to introducing market values and mechanisms. Due to this development it becomes essential to promote more adequate criteria for quality standards in the very field of personal social services. The challenge is to maintain a certain standard of service provision while at the same time reconsidering the preconditions for defining quality. This will imply the search for a consensus between allegedly diverging approaches, i.e. between their different basic concepts, aims and standards.
Given the social and economic context within which these developments are taking place, the focus of the contributions is on their critical assessment in different European countries. An overview is given about national developments in the areas of care for older persons and other social services. The contributors from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK look at how and by whom quality is defined and what challenges the actors of the traditionally mixed economy of personal social services are meeting. Empirical evidence about user involvement and satisfaction is given but also theoretical reasoning about the impact of business approaches on a "pubic good". Thus, the book tries to fill an important gap in practice, research and policy-making concerning personal social services and quality issues.
Part 1. Concepts. 1. Quality Development – Part of a Changing Culture of Care in Personal Social Services. Adalbert Evers. 2. Business and Professional Approaches to Quality Improvement: A Comparison of their Suitability for the Personal Social Services. Christopher Pollitt. 3. Quality Management in Finland – Problems and Possibilities. Mikko Mäntysaari. 4. Quality in Personal Social Services: The Developing Role of User Involvement in the UK. Peter Beresford, Suzy Croft, Clare Evans, Tessa Harding. Part 2. Methods. 5. Professionals and Quality Initiatives in Health and Social Services. Marketta Rajavaara. 6. Measuring Quality in Personal Social Services? Monica Dowling. 7. Towards a New Client Orientation through Continuous Improvement. Maria Oppen. 8. Combining Client Interests with Professionalism in the Organization. Gabriëlle Verbeek. 9. Quality Management and Quality Assurance in Residential and Nursing Home Care in Britain and Germany. Barbara Klein. 10. User-Centred Performance Indicators for Inspection of Community Care in Scotland: Developing a Framework. Rosemary Bland. Part 3. Cases and Comments. 11. Quality Assured or Quality Compromised?Developing Domiciliary Care Markets in Britain. Brian Hardy / Gerald Wistow. 12. Rationality and Management in Public Care Services. Sturle Næss / Kari Wærness. 13. Quality by Users’ Influence and Involvement in Denmark – The Logical Development of Social Services. Steen Bengtsson. 14. The City of Stockholm’s Awards for Good Quality. Jonas Bjelfvenstam. 15. Quality in Home Care and Nursing? Karen Christensen. 16. Promoting Quality of Life for Oldern People in Institutions. Carla Costanzi. 17. Some National and Local Quality Strategies in Finland. Riitta Haverinen. 18. Quality of Care on Whose Terms? Marja A. Pijl. 19. Quality Measurements and Some Unintended Consequences: Can Quasi-Quality Be a Consequence of Quality Standards? Britt Slagsvold.
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