Skip to main content

About this book

The second edition of this guide to community care, aimed at both health and social care practitioners, offers a clear and structured introduction to present policy and practice. It is illustrated throughout by pertinent case material and has been updated with the latest policy developments and new literature.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Background to Community Care

Chapter summary
This chapter covers:
  • The background to and community care content of the NHS&CC Act 1990.
  • Key aspects of what the government was trying to do in relation to community care.
  • How local authorities responded to the financial pressures upon them.
  • The need to connect individual community care concerns to wider issues of public policy and structural inequality.
Peter Sharkey

Chapter 2. Care Within the Community

Chapter summary
This chapter covers:
  • The interweaving of formal and informal care.
  • The different ways in which service agencies respond to carers and care receivers.
  • Data on carers from surveys and research studies.
  • An analysis of why people care and an exploration of the complexity of caring.
  • The tension between a focus on carers and a focus on independent living.
  • The possible ‘commodification’ of care.
  • Carers and assessment.
Peter Sharkey

Chapter 3. The Shifting Boundaries of Community Care

Chapter summary
This chapter:
  • Presents an overview of the key providers of community care from the formal sector.
  • Discusses the way in which the boundaries between these key providers have been changing.
  • Places particular emphasis on the changing boundaries between health and social care.
Peter Sharkey

Chapter 4. Care Management and Assessment

Chapter summary
This chapter contains:
  • A description of care management.
  • A description of assessment and of review within care management.
  • A discussion of the assessment of need and the assessment of risk.
  • An evaluation of the experience of care management.
  • An introduction to community matrons and case management.
Peter Sharkey

Chapter 5. Interprofessional Issues in Community Care

Chapter summary
This chapter:
  • Describes the background to and causes of poor interprofessional working.
  • Discusses attempts and initiatives to improve interprofessional working.
  • Discusses interprofessional working in relation to hospital discharge.
  • Provides an example of interprofessional working in the mental health field in relation to the care programme approach and care management by community mental health teams.
Peter Sharkey

Chapter 6. Social Support and Community Care

Chapter summary
This chapter:
  • Discusses the concepts and links between community, social support, social capital and health and the significance of these for practitioners.
  • Considers the ways in which practitioners can develop partnerships in their work and the importance of transitions within community care.
  • Explains what networks are, how they can be measured, their different types and how they can be worked with in community care practice.
Peter Sharkey

Chapter 7. User Empowerment and Community Care

Chapter summary
This chapter:
  • Discusses some key influences on empowerment in community care including the independent living movement and direct payments; the social model of disability; normalisation, ordinary living and person-centred planning; the self-help and user movement; and community development.
  • Outlines two models of empowerment and describes a ‘ladder of empowerment’.
  • Situates community care in a wider context and considers debates on social exclusion and regeneration.
Peter Sharkey

Chapter 8. Adult Abuse and Community Care

Chapter summary
This chapter discusses:
  • Elder abuse as a developing social problem in the United Kingdom.
  • Some links between adult abuse, child abuse and domestic violence.
  • Definitions and prevalence of abuse.
  • Institutional abuse.
  • The legal context of abuse.
  • The wider context.
  • Intervention and practice.
Peter Sharkey


This book has examined some essential issues in community care for health and social care practitioners, students and the general reader. It has focused on carers, the shifting boundaries of community care, care management and assessment, interprofessional working, social support, empowerment, and abuse. Practitioners need to have a sound background knowledge of these topics if they are to develop good, reflective practice. This book has endeavoured to provide this and to make these ‘essentials’ relevant and comprehensible.
Peter Sharkey
Additional information