Social policy in the health and social care sector
The aim of this unit is to enable learners to investigate the origins of social policies and their impact on health and social care services. Social policy relates to guidelines for the changing, maintenance or creation of living conditions that are conducive to human welfare. Thus social policy is that part of public policy that has to do with social issues. Social policy aims to improve human welfare and to meet human needs for education, health, housing and social security. The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard University describes it as “public policy and practice in the areas of health care, human services, criminal justice, inequality, education, and labor.
1. Religion – Health and social care services should meet the needs of people from all backgrounds. You should not be treated less favourably than anyone else because of your religion or belief, or because you have no religion or belief. For example An abortion clinic restricts applications for a job to people who do not have religious beliefs. This is an example of indirect religious discrimination. 2. Sexuality – The National Health Service (NHS) was set up in 1948 to provide healthcare for all citizens based on need, not on the ability to pay. There are also many independent healthcare providers in Britain (both private and voluntary) which offer a variety of services. Public or independent health and social care providers may not discriminate unlawfully on grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, and religion and belief when providing services to people. It is still lawful however to discriminate on grounds of age when providing goods, facilities and services. You cannot discrimnate a person because of their sexuality it is very important to treat every individual equally and with respect.
3. Ethnicity – This is when someone may be treated differently because of their origin. For example; a doctor may treat one of his patients differently by being brief with them about their treatment because they may be from a different background to himself, this is seen as racism. This lets the health care workers give support to the service users when they need help or guidance. This does not mean doing everything for them or choosing everything for them. You can still help by asking what they want to
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