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Article

John Woolham, Caroline Norrie, Kritika Samsi and Jill Manthorpe

The purpose of this paper is to describe the employment conditions of social care personal assistants (PAs) in England. In England, disabled adults have been able to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the employment conditions of social care personal assistants (PAs) in England. In England, disabled adults have been able to directly employ people to meet their care or support needs for a number of years, little is known about the employment conditions of people who are directly employed.

Design/methodology/approach

PAs were recruited mainly through third sector and user led organisations. A total of 105 social care PAs took part in a semi-structured telephone interview, which on average was an hour long. Interviews were fully transcribed. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS (v.24) and qualitative data by NVIVO software.

Findings

The paper focuses on employment conditions: contracts, pay, pensions, national insurance, overtime, holiday and sick pay, etc. Access to training and support are also described. Though PAs enjoyed considerable job satisfaction, many did not enjoy good employment conditions. Though employer abuse was uncommon, many PAs could arguably be described as exploited. Occupational isolation and lack of support to resolve disputes was striking.

Research limitations/implications

Though this may be currently the largest qualitative study of PAs in the UK, it is nonetheless relatively small and no claims for generalisability are made, though the geographical spread of the sample was wide and recruited from multiple sites.

Practical implications

PAs are an effective way of establishing relationship-based care, and confer direct control to disabled employers. Many PAs experienced high job satisfaction. However, lack of regulation and oversight creates considerable potential for exploitation or abuse. This may make the role less attractive to potential PAs in the medium term.

Social implications

Social care PAs may be a very effective means of achieving genuinely person-centred care or support for many people. However, PAs do not always appear to enjoy satisfactory conditions of employment and their role is largely unregulated. Growth and long-term sustainability of this emergent role may be jeopardised by these employment conditions.

Originality/value

Little is known about PA working conditions. This study suggests that much more needs to be done to improve these.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article

Fiona Aspinal, Martin Stevens, Jill Manthorpe, John Woolham, Kritika Samsi, Kate Baxter, Shereen Hussein and Mohamed Ismail

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from one element of a study exploring the relationship between personalisation, in the form of personal budgets (PBs) for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from one element of a study exploring the relationship between personalisation, in the form of personal budgets (PBs) for publicly funded social care and safeguarding.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 people receiving PBs who had recently been the focus of a safeguarding investigation. Participants were recruited from two English local authority areas and data were subject to thematic analysis.

Findings

The analysis identified three main themes: levels of information and awareness; safeguarding concerns and processes; and choice and control. Many of the participants in this small study described having experienced multiple forms of abuse or neglect concurrently or repeatedly over time.

Research limitations/implications

This was a small scale, qualitative study, taking place in two local authorities. The small number of participants may have had strong opinions which may or may not have been typical. However, the study provides some rich data on people’s experiences.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that adults receiving PBs may need information on an ongoing and repeated basis together with advice on how to identify and address poor quality care that they are arranging for themselves. Practitioners need to be aware of the influence of the level of information received and the interaction of organisational or legal requirements when responding to safeguarding concerns when care being supplied tries to reflect the benefits of choice and control.

Originality/value

This paper reports original research asking adults with care and support needs about the interaction between two key policies of safeguarding and personalisation.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

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Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Enabling Technologies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-6263

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Article

John Woolham

This article explores the origins, aims and ongoing development of the self‐assessment tool under development at www.atdementia.org.uk.

Abstract

This article explores the origins, aims and ongoing development of the self‐assessment tool under development at www.atdementia.org.uk.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

Keywords

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Article

Jill Manthorpe, Martin Stevens, Kritika Samsi, Fiona Aspinal, John Woolham, Shereen Hussein, Mohamed Ismail and Kate Baxter

The purpose of this paper is to report on a part of a study examining the interrelationships between personalisation and safeguarding practice. Specifically the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a part of a study examining the interrelationships between personalisation and safeguarding practice. Specifically the authors aimed to examine how safeguarding practice is affected by the roll out of personalisation in adult social care, particularly when the adult at risk has a personal budget or is considering this.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of annual reports from Adult Safeguarding Boards in England was accessed for content analysis covering the period 2009-2011. One part of this sample of local authorities was selected at random; the other authorities selected had been early adopters of personalisation. The reports were analysed using a pro forma to collect salient information on personalisation that was cross-referenced to identify common themes and differences.

Findings

The authors found variable mentions of personalisation as part of the macro policy context reported in the annual reviews, some examples of system or process changes at mezzo level where opportunities to discuss the interface were emerging, and some small reports of training and case accounts relevant to personalisation. Overall these two policy priorities seemed to be more closely related than had been found in earlier research on the interface between adult safeguarding and personalisation.

Research limitations/implications

There was wide variation in the annual reports in terms of detail, size and content, and reports for only one year were collected. Developments may have taken place but might not have been recorded in the annual reports so these should not be relied upon as complete accounts of organisational or practice developments.

Practical implications

Authors of Safeguarding Adults Board reports may benefit from learning that their reports may be read both immediately and potentially in the future. They may wish to ensure their comments on current matters will be intelligible to possible future readers and researchers.

Originality/value

There does not appear to have been any other previous study of Safeguarding Adult Boards’ annual reports. Documentary analysis at local level is under-developed in safeguarding studies.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

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Article

Esmé Wood, Gillian Ward and John Woolham

– The purpose of this paper is to gain a greater understanding of the development of safer walking technology for people with dementia through contemporary literature.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a greater understanding of the development of safer walking technology for people with dementia through contemporary literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A two stage systematic approach to searching the literature was adopted. Initially this involved searching the literature to gain a broad overview of the development of safer walking technology and the context in which it has been developed. Then, this literature was examined in detail to look at published evidence surrounding the use of safer walking technology by people with dementia. These articles were quality appraised and a meta ethnographic approach taken to synthesis of the findings.

Findings

There is a small but growing body of literature within this field. Whilst there is only limited evidence to support the use of safer walking technologies for people with dementia, the evidence to date indicates great potential for its use. If provided with the right support and guidance, safer walking technology has the potential to increase freedoms and independence for people with dementia; gaining them improved access to outdoor spaces and environments to support their health and wellbeing. However, if the safer walking technology continues to be associated with only risk management it will not achieve this potential.

Research limitations/implications

The published literature within this field is small and has limited generalisability as much of it was generated in recent years has been by the same small research teams, often reusing data sets. There is also very little research that examines the experience of actually using safer walking technology and even less which explores the views of people with dementia. It is evident that a greater breadth and depth of knowledge is needed within this field to develop a clearer understanding of how this technology is used and perceived by all stakeholders concerned. In particular the literature would benefit from greater consideration of the views and experiences of people with dementia themselves.

Practical implications

For many people with dementia, health and social care professionals can play an important role in ensuring appropriate assessment and support in the decision-making process when using safer walking technology. However, greater support is needed in decision making for all people with dementia, especially those people not currently engaged with specialist services. Therefore greater awareness of the benefits and limitations of this technology is needed by all health and social care professionals as well as the general public.

Originality/value

At the time of conducting this review the author is unaware of any other systematic search of literature or overview of research on the use of safer walking technology and its use by people with dementia. Despite this safer walking technology is growing in popularity, commonly recommended by health and social care practitioners and often marketed and purchased directly by people with dementia and their families. This review offers an insight into the development of the technology and the current evidence base for its use.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article

John Woolham, Guy Daly and Elizabeth Hughes

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors associated with loneliness amongst people aged 55 and over living in Coventry, a medium-sized city in the Midlands, UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors associated with loneliness amongst people aged 55 and over living in Coventry, a medium-sized city in the Midlands, UK.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative community survey of residents, involving postal and online questionnaire and distribution of questionnaire to local community resources used by older people and “ballot boxes” for completed questionnaires in these locations.

Findings

Using multivariate regression analysis the study found that living alone, not enjoying life, needing help with personal care and not being in touch with people as often as liked all predicted loneliness.

Research limitations/implications

Survey was commissioned by a range of local statutory and voluntary sector providers and had a wider focus than loneliness. Some evidence of under-representation of males, minority ethnic groups and possibly people from lower socio-economic groups is reported. Further qualitative research is needed to better understand consequences and causes of loneliness.

Practical implications

The study identified factors associated with loneliness that could be used to identify people who may be lonely in general or, for example, NHS or social care service populations.

Originality/value

Loneliness is slowly becoming more recognised as a social problem in its own right and a contributory factor in poor health and well-being. This paper explores a the relationship between lonely and “not lonely” people and a range of factors clustered within the four thematic areas of demographic background, reported health and well-being, access to personal resources and use of community resources of survey participants.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

Keywords

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