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SOCIAL CARE|WHAT IS SOCIAL CARE?|WHAT ARE ITS ORIGINS? | WHAT DOES IT DO?
Most of us have experienced Health Care but when it comes Social Care...
What do WE really know?
    People often hear the words ‘Social care’ in the media or press but do they really understand what it is? What its origins are? Or what it does?
Social care has no recognisable brand identity unlike Health Care, which is the NHS or an overarching website specifically dedicated to providing information to the public. Yet, Social care is happening all around us.
In 2015, a survey carried out by Britain Thinks for Age UK showed, that many members of the public have never heard of Social care.
They did not understand
what aspects of care it covered, how to access it, or where it sits in respect to the NHS. Why is that?
To understand why, we
must look back to the early beginnings of Social care and the concept of the welfare state.
The Early Beginnings of Social Care
Social Care, like health care, has its origins in the Poor Laws; these laws were consistently reformed over several centuries, responding to poverty, but not preventing it. There was no will or clear vision, of what could replace them. The early insurance­based cover for health services and unemployment support, introduced by the Liberal government in 1906, could be seen as an attempt to change this. During the Second World War, a conscious effort was made to break away from the legacy of the Poor Law, and establish a new, visionary, comprehensive system.
The new system would be built on completely different principles, offering support for everyone, as of right. The Beveridge Report (1942) entitled ‘Social Insurance and Allied Services’ was overwhelmingly popular with the public and formed the basis of post­war ‘welfare’ reforms. The report laid out plans for banishing the ‘Five Giants’: want (caused by poverty); disease (caused by inadequate health care provision); squalor (caused by poor housing); ignorance (caused by a lack of education) and idleness (caused by a lack of jobs, or the ability to gain employment). The report proposed a system of social security which would be operated by the state and implemented at the war's end.
In 1945 the new Labour government introduced a series of welfare reforms, outlined in the Beveridge Report (1942), these laid the foundations for the ‘Welfare State’, key features of which remain to this day. Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health at the time, spearheaded the establishment of the National Health Service and introduced The National Health Act in 1946 which came into effect in 1948. The Act stated that it shall be the duty of the Minister of Health
to establish a health service to secure improvement in the physical and mental health of the people and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness. The Act stated that the services shall be free of charge.
Following The National Health Act came the National Assistance Act passed, in 1948. This Act under Section 21 stated, that all Local Government Authorities had a duty to provide; ‘residential accommodation for persons who by reason of age, infirmity or any other circumstances are in need of care and attention, which is not otherwise available to them’. This Act could be seen as the basis of the modern Social Care system we have today. Both Acts created a system of care that assumed it was possible to distinguish between the sick (people with health needs treated by the NHS) and the aged/disabled, (people with social needs, who would either be cared for by their family or would enter a local authority home). The distinction was a pivotal moment in time, the former would receive their care free of charge and the latter may well be called upon to pay.
From these two Acts we can now see how Social Care provision became separated from Health Care. So, in very simple terms ­ Health Care/NHS ­ is free at the point of use and ‘makes us better when we are unwell,’ whilst Social Care – ‘supports people with specific needs to maintain their independence, dignity and control to ‘live well’ in the community.’ It is managed, coordinated, and means tested by Local Government. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ social­care­charging­for­local­authorities­2018­to­ 2019.
8|OACP|TALKING CARE|ISSUE 6|2019
Every day is different when YOU care
















































































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