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Care Manag J. 2006 Winter;7(4):169-78.

Care managers' time use: differences between community mental health and older people's services in the United Kingdom.

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Personal Social Services Research Unit, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


Since the community care reforms of the early 1990s, care management in the United Kingdom has become the usual means of arranging services for even the most straightforward of social care needs. This paper presents data from a diary study of care managers' time use, from a sample of social services commissioning organizations representing the most common forms of care management practiced in England at the end of the 20th century. It compares the working practices of care managers in community mental health service settings to the practices of those situated in older people's services. Evidence is provided to suggest that while the former follow a more clinical model of care management, those working with older people take an almost exclusively administrative approach to their work. In addition, the multidisciplinary nature of mental health service teams appears to facilitate a more integrated health and social care approach to care management compared to the approach to older people's services. Further enquiry is needed as to the comparative effectiveness of these different modes of working in each service setting.

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