Books by Keith Fletcher

Negotiation for Health and Social Services Professionals
published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Feb. 1998 200pp ISBN 1 85302 549 6 £15.95

We all negotiate every day, professionally and socially, yet few of us have had any training in how to do so more effectively. For professionals in the health and social services, an ability to negotiate successfully is becoming more important. With the creation of purchasing authorities within the NHS, the introduction of GP fund-holding, and the purchaser/provider split in social services, those working in these areas are having to adapt their roles to include purchasing and marketing: roles which inevitably involve a greater degree of negotiation. Arguing that in the health and social services a different, less aggressive approach is required to that advocated by negotiators in the commercial sectors, Keith Fletcher explains how to prepare for and deal with negotiation situations more confidently so that settlements can be reached which satisfy all parties.

CONTENTS: Foreword. 1. An Introduction. 2. Preparing to Negotiate. 3. The Context: People. 4. The Context: Organisations. 5. Strategy and Tactics. 6. Negotiation is People Talking. 7. Opportunities and Disasters. 8. The NHS and Social Services. 9. A Common Agenda, A Different Language. 10. Exercises in Negotiation. 11. Key Learning Points.

 What Keith Fletcher says about this book

"Negotiation is both an art and a learned craft. And like all crafts it can't be practised in the abstract. This book is, as far as I know, the first to put it directly in the context of health and social services. The scenarios I have explored will be familiar to people in this field. There is some buying and selling (we all do that after all) but there is also getting the best deal for your client/ patient; dealing with administrators and politicians; and of course negotiating with other professionals.

The book is full of illustrations of encounters in different health and social services contexts, looked at from the standpoint of the public service, the voluntary agencies and independent service providers working in the market place. And there are several negotiating games. Trainers will find them particularly helpful I think.

The reviewers have been very kind about my book. I hope you agree with them.

Best Value Social Services a handbook
published by Social Services Strategic Planning ISBN 0 9533002 1 8  20,000 words. £9.00

The Government is driving forward the modernisation of local government under the twin banners "best value" and "democratic renewal". Social services cannot, and should not, stand back from the consequences. They cannot because the Government has made it clear that it will involve all services; they should not because recalcitrant services will become increasingly disadvantaged, politically and financially, if they try to do so.

This handbook offers a range of practical tools, and illustrations from experience and research with which to review services. "Democratic renewal" and "best value", as described in the Government’s consultation papers, are inseparable. Efficiency, effectiveness, public consultation and consumer partnership are interactive and inter-dependent.

The Government describes the parameters of best value as economy, efficiency, effectiveness and quality but these things have to be tackled as assessable components. This handbook has chapters on:-

improving quality. The value of the service to those who receive it. The professional and policy standards by which it judged.
optimising scale. The range and number of service components you need to meet your objectives.
reducing cost. Achieving the lowest cost possible without adversely affecting either scale or quality.

In order to be able to change any of those components you need to understand the significance of people and information. So there are chapters on:-

people. The rôles they play in relation to best value depending on whether they are clients, staff, members, carers or staff in other agencies.
information. How it facilitates or inhibits the effective execution of the rôles people need to play.

Best Value Social Services has something for everyone with an interest in influencing the way social services develop in the future. DipSW students, social workers, middle and senior managers in social services, chief executives and Members will all find food for thought and action. The social services are the least "stand alone" of all; so colleagues in the voluntary  and independent sectors and in related services inside and outside local government will find some useful linking ideas here too.

Child Protection A Change of Emphasis
Published by Social Services Strategic Planning ISBN 0 9533002 0 X 10,000 words £7.70

"The more time and money we spend on finding out where and how abuse has occurred the less we have to spend to respond positively to alleviate it and the more damage we may do to the majority of children in the process." Child protection is changing rapidly. In order to respond effectively to produce the best services for children and their families we need to take account of the lessons recent research can teach us and the experience of the vanguard agencies who have sought to put it into practice. The Department of Health is intent on a significant shift in national policy. It is the ideal moment for everyone concerned with child protection to explore its implications.

This report is designed as a companion to "Messages from Research" and "Working together to safeguard children". Written by a former senior member of the Social Services Inspectorate, it addresses the policy and practice implications of those two key documents for ACPCs and child protection professionals and managers.

The Children Act 1989 placed heavy reliance on fostering partnership with families and improving support for them. But there was always a risk that the pro-active intentions of Section 17 would be overwhelmed by the demands of the reactive child protection system. In some ways the reissued government guidance "Working Together" (1991) actually increased the risk.

The Department of Health acknowledged the problem. They commissioned and, in 1995, published eight research papers studying different aspects of child protection, and an overview based on these and other recent studies which drew some general conclusions. [Child Protection - Messages from Research, Department of Health, HMSO London £14.00] The overview highlights five key issues:

  1. sensitive and informed professional/client relationships
  2. an appropriate balance of power between participants
  3. a wide perspective on child protection
  4. effective supervision and training of social workers
  5. services which enhance children's general quality of life
 Keith Fletcher considers the impact and implications which have followed this report.

You can order any of these publications by phone, fax, post or e-mail (add 80 pence postage and packing) or through using the order form  (post free) or send us an Email. [Please don't forget to give us your name and address; it has happened!]

© SSSP Ltd., September 2003