Health and social services

Four different categories traditionally divide health and social services. These include a statutory sector, this is provided by the state and is gained through legislation; they include the national health service and local councils. There is also the voluntary sector, these include non-profit organisations and are set up through volunteers. These tend to turn into services through the registered charities, an example being age concern, whereby they provide day centres for the elderly, they also provide services to help individuals with everyday tasks like going food shopping or cleaning tasks. Furthermore, there is a private sector, this includes private health care and social services.

They, unlike the voluntary sector, run as a business in order to gain profits, these include private hospitals, residential homes and dental care. The fourth and most commonly unnoticed group of carers which provide health and social care service for those in need is the informal carers, these individuals are usually unpaid workers, and could be partners of the person in need, a relative or even a friend. Another example of this would be that of church lunch club, whereby it is easy access for people. It should be noted that all of these services, whether they are profit or non-profit do perform and work together at a local level.

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The provision of health and social care services adapt themselves in order to meet the needs of their service users. Numerous factors are influential in the planning of new and upcoming changes within the health, social and childcare sector. These include the local demographic characteristics, statistics and trends and also the national standards and objectives.

Local demographic characteristics

Local demographic characteristics and trends influence local planning, in that the services need to be able to respond to the general public within their caption area, and in order to do this they need to be aware of the changing demographics of the area, whereby they will look through statistics of that area, the sorts of point which will be taken into consideration will be:

* The number of single parents

* The number of children who attend school

* The number of children below compulsory school age

* The number of people who live in an area who are registered as disabled.

* The number of people who are noted as unemployed

* The migration figures

* Death rate

* Birth rate

These factors all give local councils the ability to see who require help within communities and also health them to bring in specialists workers who can help improve certain aspects, for example housing is a factor which affects most council, and in an area where there is a high amount of lone- parent families then this may also lead them to needing to have an increase in affordable housing schemes to each financial pressures within families.

National standards, targets and objectives

National standards , targets and objectives influence local planning; there have been many changes within the structure of society over the recent years, which includes the changing structures of families, the increase in life expectancy, the increase in life saving medicines and more effective invasive methods of treatments have caused the governments national standards, targets and objectives to change. Standards are the concepts by which when they are implemented they will provide quality care. The targets are the goals which will help to achieve the standards, and finally the objectives are the different steps which are required to meet the targets which have been implemented to reach the correct standard of work.

The standard

The definition of a standard is that it is a written statement that defines the level of performance or a set condition determined to be accepted by an authority, for example this could be the department of health.

The government initiative of ‘every child matters’ states that children are unable to learn if they are not in a safe environment or if they are suffering from il health due to adequate care and attention. Therefore there is a necessity that there is a link between the education system and the health and social care which can be provided. Whereby school and early years education centres provide essential care on site. The aim being to make sure the children:

* Maintain healthy

* Stay safe

* Enjoy and achieve

* Make positive contributions

* Achieve economic and social well-being

This has caused that main focus of attention to be of the education and the achievement of ‘the whole child’ whatever their abilities and talents. Education will not be the only source of education but simply a ‘gateway’ by which children can pass through and gain wider knowledge. There is a need for closer working relationships between the education system and the health and social care services, which will promote the effective support that a child needs.

Targets

One target which the government have made and wish to achieve by 2010 is that ‘sure start’ children centre are available to all young children in all regions of Britain, which is target which suit’s the standard which has also been put in place. The ‘sure start’ scheme is a method, by which families are able to gain affordable, trust worthy childcare, which are of a high quality. These centres are open all year round from general working hours, which are between 8 am and 6pm, this therefore will give parents or carers the opportunity to be committed to a job outside the home and bring in an income for their developing family. These services are available to families who have children who are of 5 years of age or below, therefore it will give mothers a chance to also not be out of work for too long, rather than them being out of work until their child begins primary school.

There is also a second target by which the government have set in relation to the standard which has previously been mentioned above is to initialise key workers such as psychologists, health workers and youth workers to work with teachers within school. This is to make sure that children’s issues and problems can be sorted out swiftly, which will reduce disruption within the individuals. This scheme is called ‘full-service extended schools’ and also aims to provide the children at school with after school activities which will help maintain their needs of the children, and to support their families further, in the case of having to work late.

Objectives

There are specific objectives which relate t the targets which were set by the ‘every child matters’ scheme:

Targets

Objectives

Promote being healthy

The schools must provide a stress management programme for the learners and the staff within schools, this will help them gain the confidence to be able to do their jobs correctly, and to respond better at a stressful situation and further problems which they may face

School should provide healthier eating options within the school canteen, to give children the option of what they eat, this will give children more of an independence, and also help them to recognise what foods are good for them and what foods could be quite problematic if eating in large proportions

Staying safe

The objective for this target is to create a programme within schools, for example a peer monitoring programme, which would reduce bullying, and give children the to feel supported within the school environment.

Promoting good health

In order to achieve this target, schools should inform their student about how to access health and social care services, which would then promote good healthy life styles and in turn, reduce the risks within their lives

Another objective by which the target would be met by improving the communication links between agencies, for example the school needs to give student the opportunity and information that they will need in unfortunate circumstances, this would include the child line services.

Make a positive contribution

One way in which the schools would be able to create a personalised learning plans, so that pupils of all academic levels will have the best opportunity to achieve at the potential

Schools should also address disengagement, this would include between students and their schools. Teachers should begin to address when they think that pupils have become less involved within the schools and become more socially involved with other activities within their community for example drugs and truancy.

Achieving economic and social well being

In order for schools to help achieve economic and social well- being they should try and create engagement of mini enterprise projects, which will increase students understanding of the economic world and the way of business

Another way to achieve this target is to continue developing the literacy and teal working skills. This will give them the basic skills and opportunity to be able to create a career and an adequate lifestyle when they are of adult age

A third way to reach the objective is to develop problem solving skills, this will give teachers and their students the required skills to help solve stressful situations to decrease the disruption within individuals lives.

These examples all show how teachers, parents and health and social care professionals can all work together to help improve the quality of life and the learning experience of children within schools.

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