Health and Social Care is an exciting area of work and a popular subject to study at school, college and university level. It encompasses an extremely wide range of areas of service delivery and can involve a number of different disciplines, including nursing, physiotherapy, social work, public health, psychology, and allied health professions. It also covers a wide spectrum of areas, such as ageing, homelessness, disability, addictions, mental health and learning difficulties.
Conventional thinking conveniently conceptualises health and social care as self-contained areas, with their respective spheres of financing, provision and research. Jon Glasby argues that this view is flawed, and that it obscures the fact that both areas share significant financial, operational and organisational interdependence.
Various national policies have catalysed initiatives to test new integrated health and social care models. These range from individual-level approaches, such as community health workers screening patients for social risks and connecting them to local services, to cross-sector technology referral platforms and health clinic-food bank partnerships. Ultimately, the success of these models depends on validating measures of social risk, creating engagement at all levels of organizational leadership and frontline staff, and providing flexibility from national policymakers to align incentives for integration.
With many healthcare providers now offering integrated care, if you’re looking at a career in this sector it is increasingly important to understand the key principles and practices involved in this. For example, you should be familiar with the 6 Cs – Compassion in Practice, Communication, Confidence, Competence, Capability and Choice – that all Health and Social Care professionals are expected to demonstrate. health and social care