What care services are available to people with long-term health conditions and why is it important that these services should take into account individuals sensitivities and circumstances?
“According to Talcott Parsons being sick is a role (a deviant one) which is a temporary role that all people (regardless of their status or position) enter at some stage of their life. Its main function is to control illness, and to reduce its disruptive effects on the social system by ensuring that sick people are returned to health as speedily as possible” (Parsons 1951). However if you are seen as enjoying playing the sick role, people might label you as a malingerer. “A malingerer is someone who shirks their duties by pretending to be ill” (Block 1 who cares, p-67), this also has its problems as you start to feel isolated, depressed and loss of self-esteem from hiding daily activities from people. Therefore, before you even contemplate on seeing a doctor you will have already taken on the sick role. The NHS is split into two, Primary and Secondary health services they both look after people who suffer from long-term illnesses i.e. diabetes, asthma and coronary heart disease. It is estimated that there are around 15 million people in England that have a long-term illness (DH 2006). ‘Your local doctors’ surgery or GP practice provides a wide range of family health services’ (NHS Choices, 2007). I myself will often refer to a study of a man named Anwar Malik that I have been studying, who himself has used most of the health services. Anwar Malik is a 54 year old green grocer and lives with his wife Hansa and their youngest son Iqbal. Anwar originally was born in Pakistan and came to live in the UK when he was a young man. Anwar’s first language is Punjabi and Urdu, but can speak English as Hansar and Anwar speak it in their shop. Anwar had been feeling unwell for a while, lethargic, tired and generally thirsty. Anwar’s wife noticed that he had become less active and frequenting the toilet more often. Hansa his wife became concerned for her husband’s health and advised him to visit his doctor. Anwar’s G.P referred him to hospital for further tests where it was discovered he in fact was diagnosed with diabetes. Primary care services are normally the first point of contact if you have a health related issue, an appointment with your GP (general practitioner), dentist, nurse or optometrist. It is estimated that around 90% use this service and most can be accessed in the doctor’s surgery, although Anwar could have gone to his local walk in center or even telephoned NHS direct. If your illness requires further tests your G.P will refer you to a secondary health care provider, this is what happened to Anwar Malik. Secondary care is defined as a service provided by medical specialists who generally do not have first contact with patients. Secondary care is usually delivered in hospitals and patients have usually been referred to secondary care by their primary care provider (usually their GP) (Dr Foster 2001). What can people expect to find in a hospital setting? Consultants, nurses, health care assistants and domestics are just a few to name. There are different departments that split the hospital, intensive care; different medical wards i.e. Neurology, surgical, and also not forgetting the Accident and Emergency department. Communication between primary and secondary care breaks down quite easily, especially if you are receiving long term care. If you are being seen as an outpatient for long periods, the GP will need to be informed of their treatment and progress, as this could have an impact on the GP’s own treatment for the patient. Social care supports people for whatever reason that is unable to function without support or supervision in their own homes. Some families struggle to fund this kind of service as it is not always free and requires service users to use their own money in order to obtain the service. Home...
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