The Welfare State in Britain

Topics: Sociology, Poverty, Health care Pages: 5 (1789 words) Published: December 6, 2012
This essay will be looking at health and social care within the British welfare state. To illustrate the broad structure within this topic, the differing roles of sectors and agencies and professions will be described and also the difference between health and social care to aid the discussion. The health and social care relationship and its distinction will then be analysed using the origins and historical background in relation to its social and ideological context. The effect of the similarities and differences and how they affect the individual as a patient, service user or professional will also reviewed and the effectiveness of these services working together. To conclude, the four UK nations’ structures will then be compared and contrasted with two outlined in relation to how the professionals, service users and patients are affected.

The welfare state

The term welfare state is said to also mean the same as ‘state welfare’ and the state does not act alone but as a combination of assemblies working together. The public sector is used by the state with the ability to dictate an organisation to guarantee consistent or the lowest expected standards, for social control when protecting (child abuse), punishing (prisoners) or increasing freedom (from compulsory education).The state also puts into consideration the most effective way around costs for example with the NH systems they are confirmed to be cheaper than other systems i.e. liberal. Last but not least the state is a protection net when other sectors fail to support or supply. This sector is filled with professionals such as nurses, doctors, teachers to supply services to every citizen who is entitled to the service and who is in need of the services. The state also provides the funds to aid welfare in these sectors. The private sector links into welfare through occupational welfare – supplying services to employees, delegated welfare activity- this is where the private sector acts as an assistant to the government e.g. collecting taxes, participates in policy making and government processes and corporate social responsibility – this is where the agencies are trying to improve the welfare in society for others. The voluntary sector on the other hand is very diverse which include direct service giving, running voluntary organisations. Over the years health and social care has endured a number of reforms within the UK and under the welfare state especially the Poor laws (1601 and 1834), the Beveridge report 1945 which later on lead to reforms in healthcare and the creation of the National Health Service (NHS).

There are five main sectors within welfare and they are public sector which is supplied by the state, private sector supplied for profit by marketing firms or organisations or even individuals, voluntary which aid is provided not for profit, informal which is supplied by friends and family maybe even neighbours and mutual aid which is provided by unity and alliances. Discussions about the welfare state are mainly based on social services which are provided for the people by the institutions or agencies of the state. Personal social services take care of people who fall out of the health aids. This job mainly falls down to the social workers even though their work if defined but what they do and who their client is. Their work is sometimes called ‘casework’ or ‘direct’ work which involved: being a logical thinker (problem solver), psycho-social therapy, carrying out the agency’s functional tasks which build on initiative, changing behaviour and crisis intervention. Their positions as social workers counts on how the worker understands the situations or issue presented to him/her. The Barclay report based in this field presented a new belief in ‘indirect’ social work which contains supervising staff, community development, volunteers, training etc.

Health and social Care

In terms of health the NHS is seen by many as the core of the welfare...
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