Health and social care is a diverse field that covers public services such as schools, community health and public protection (police, fire and ambulance). It also involves the study of sociology, biology, nutrition, law and ethics. Many students studying this subject will complete a work placement in addition to their academic studies. These placements may be in a nursery, residential home, hospital or other caring establishment.
Conventional thinking conveniently conceptualizes health and social care as self-contained areas with distinct spheres of financing, provision and research. Jon Glasby challenges this over simplification and shows how these sectors inter-connect in a complex web that affects the wellbeing of people.
While national policies have catalyzed initiatives to integrate health and social care, implementation and scale remain challenging. These efforts focus on activities ranging from screening patients for social risk in healthcare clinics to building new cross-sector collaborations to funding health and social care with the same dollars.
However, these efforts do not address the key underlying problems. Insufficient accountability measures, delayed fund settlement and long-term returns to partners are among the barriers that undermine these investments. Governments need to establish integrated health and social-care pathways at the operational level and invest in critical enablers. This will help ensure that integrated health and social care delivers on its promise of improving health outcomes and reducing costs. It will also help people stay out of hospitals longer and live at home. health and social care