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Social policy is linked with study of social welfare, and its relationship to politics and society. Main focus is on social services and welfare of state. It primarily refers to guidelines, legislation and principles that affect living conditions of people living in society. Main aim of this policy is to improve human welfare and to meet specific needs of individual like education, health, social security and housing. This policy plays most important role in health and social care as it helps in development of the overall sector. People suffering from any harmful disease or disability are given support with the help of such policies. Some people need extra care and support to lead an active life so in favor of that government is working through development of social policy. In this report various tasks will be undertaken which includes contemporary landmark in social policy, impact of social policy on users of health care etc.
During the period of 1900s to 1945s there were significant landmark which mainly focused on social welfare of people living in society. Government of UK has launched various welfare programs with the help of social welfare provision or social security and main objective was to provide minimum level of income top the people who don’t have financial support and are disabled (Assouts, 2002). As rate of poverty is increasing so it is duty of government to minimize the level of poverty and support people suffering from this issue. In 1900 there was no welfare state in UK and state did not accept any responsibility for the care of individuals. Sir William Beveridge chaired a government committee on the welfare system and Beveridge report was published in 1942 which was the blue print for welfare state. There is difference in social and organizational policy as social policy is for welfare of people living in society whereas organizational policy is developed to achieve goals of firm (Clarke, Sachs and Sumner, 2004).
National Health Service was set up in 1948 in which National Health Service offered a complete range of free medical services including visitors to doctors, medicines, vaccination etc. But doctors opposed the introduction of NHS but Bevan overcomes the opposition by winning the doctors over by offering them to pay on the basis of number of patients. In starting NHS was of great success although there was waiting list for various services (Braveman, 2001). But this scheme was no more effective as it proved to be expensive and in 1951 payments were introduced in favor of cost of glasses and dentures.
From 1940s onwards there was development of intellectual attitude in many western countries and named by end of ideology. There was general social wide agreement among all the social groups and decline in political class conflict (Bannister, 2011). Major social problems such as poverty and unemployment were solved and there was broad agreement between conservative and labor practices in the economy and society. From the mid 1970 labor party experienced a loss of ideological nerve and several activities were undertaken for the welfare of labor. New labor has been concerned about equality and government is regularly trying to improve its efforts in order to help poor people (Elo, 2002).
hey are given equal opportunity and no activity of discrimination will be practiced like on the basis of caste, color etc. Richard Austen Butler was a British conservative politician and after the conservatives were defeated in 1945 Butler emerged as one of the prominent figures in development of part. He followed a large extent of economic policies of his labor predecessor and Hugh Gaitskell who was pursuing mixed and Keynesian economies as part of post war consequences. Gaitskellism was the ideology of the British labor party and it was the first majority in parliament. He worked for the welfare of labor so that level of poverty may decline in society (Davies, 2009).
In order to develop social policy various steps are followed and different parties are indulged in development which includes government agencies, European Union, committee, political parties, enquires etc. series of steps are as follows:
Problem identification and agenda setting: in this step main focus is on identification of problem and agenda setting (Evans and et.al, 2007). It is estimated that public problems will only reach political agenda if they are converted into political issues. So main parties involved in this step includes political parties, government agencies etc.
Policy formulation: in this stage policies are created or developed and they are put into practice. Main parties involved include European Union etc (Fisher, 2009). it is beneficial to understand policy formulation as social and political process in order to conceptualize how policies are formulated.
Adoption: in this stage when policy is developed then it is put into practice and it include parties like local government or state etc. New policies are often adopted by means of decisions of cabinet (Friedman, Rose and Koskan, 2013).
Policy implementation: it is the stage in which policies developed are put into practice. It is necessary to examine the effectiveness of policy after implementing it. Parties involved are European Union, committees etc
Policy evaluation: it is the last stage in policy development and includes monitoring, analysis of proposed policies. Effectiveness of policy is judged in this stage and parties involved are enquires etc. they are responsible for analyzing all the polices and it is seen whether any change is required or not (Ford, Byrt and Dooher, 2010).
At the time of development of social policy several factors are considered including ideology. Like universalism is linked with religious, theoretical concept and is the term used to identify particular doctrines considering all the people. It claims that religion is universal human quality and considered most important at the time of developing social policy (Giesbrecht, Crooks and Williams, 2010). Laissez- faire is enlightened view of capitalism and is linked with free market system that has a voluntary funded government. Ideological issues must be considered like poverty and unemployment for the development of society.
Various parties are present that have influence on social policy like movements and pressure groups they directly interfere in the major affairs of government and at the time of policy development it is ensured that it is in favor of people or not (Lea, 2012). In case of media they act as watchdog and it is ensured that social policy is supporting individual suffering from disability or not. Main aim of social policy is to support every individual and work for the welfare of society and if they are not supporting individuals then it is of no use. Users of health care services have direct influence as they can analyze whether the policy developed is up to the mark or not and needs change. Administrators are the people who are responsible for analyzing the policy and it is ensured that it is supporting individual or not in the society. So all such parties have direct influence at the time of development of social policy by government or any other authority (Lister, 2005).
Social policies are developed for the welfare of people living in organization and main aim is to work on major problems are poverty etc. in order to implement the social policy various approaches are used which includes top down approach, bottom up approach and principal agent theory. In case of top down approach it takes into consideration policy formulation and execution as different activities (Morgan, 2010). Polices are set at higher levels in a political process and they are communicated to all the subordinates. All the employees working at lower level are responsible for implementation of such polices and there are some conditions that are to be followed at the time of implementation and include clear and consistent objectives, support from interest groups, adequate time and sufficient resources, good coordination and communication.
In case of bottom down approach it is recognized that individual at subordinate level are likely to play major role in policy implementation. This approach sees policy adoption as an interactive process and includes policy makers, government and other parties (Tidy, 2012). In case of principal agent theory it shows relationship between principals and agents. It may consider contracts or agreements that enable principal to specify what is provided. Generally relationship of principal and agent is affected by nature of policy problem, circumstance of surroundings and organization of the machinery required to implement the policy. So all such approaches are used by organization in order to adopt social policy developed by various regulatory authorities for the welfare of society (Lindsey, 2008).
In order to measure the impact of social policy on users of health and social care various methods are present which includes user feedback, research, statistics, cost effectiveness and practice experience etc. by obtaining feedback from the user it becomes easy to know the impact of social policy as this policy is developed for specific people and person can give right feedback (Bannister, 2011). It can be known whether policy developed is effective or not on the basis of response. Generally individual suffering from any disability or disease is supported by social policy and helps to overcome with the issue. By conducting research it can be analyzed whether social policy is effective or not and it is supporting users of health care.
Research can show real situation present in the society and on the basis of that accurate data can be obtained. Statistics show the total number of patients cured and it helps to know the real effectiveness of social policy (Assouts, 2002). Cost effectiveness is the next best method used to analyze the effectiveness of social policy. In this methods number of heath care users are taken into consideration and it is seen what benefits they have received through this policy. So all such methods are very effective and supportive too in order to judge the impact of social policy on users of health care. Time to time effectiveness can be measured with the help of such methods and changes can be done (Braveman, 2001).
Various services are provided in health and social care in order to improve health conditions of its users. Healthcare providers perform several tasks for the welfare of person suffering from any disease or disability. Social policy will have direct impact on specific groups like old age people, children, elders and other who needs service of health care (Clarke, Sachs and Sumner, 2004). In case of old aged people they are fully dependent on such services and for them it is necessary to develop social policy. People of old age may be suffering from any disease and are not able to perform daily task in appropriate way so they need full care and support.
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Social policy developed can help them in every way as they will be provided full care and support, every kind of service they need and additional benefits will be given. Major advantage of social policy is that it supports every kind of individual and in turn helps him to cope up with the disease (Elo, 2002). In case of children suffering from any disability they are provided proper support through social policy and proper support which they expect from providers of health care services. But on the other hand there are some organizations which do not follow guidelines of social policy an due to which users have to suffer. People with any disability must be given extra care and benefits and all unfair practices like discrimination must not be used in workplace. If proper care is provided then it will affect positively to all groups.
Currently health and social care policy is rapidly development as various parties are working for the welfare of society and to support every individual who needs care. Many acts and policies are developed in order to support individual and it is ensured that right quality of services is provided to every person suffering from any disability or disease (Davies, 2009). Welfare reform act was introduced in 2012 and main elements of legislation are introduction of universal credit, stronger penalties for fraud, phasing out of disability living allowance and changes to the social fund.
Large amount of money is invested for the welfare of society so that major issues like poverty, unemployment can be solved. Health and social care act was developed in 2012 in order to regulate health and adult social care services. Many provisions were introduced in which health matters will be scrutinized by local authorities and different pates will work together for the welfare of society (Fisher, 2009). Education act was passed in 2011 with the main aim to impart education to people living in society. Main benefit of this act is that person can examine the health issue and can take corrective action against it, so all such developments are very supportive.
When government of country develops social policy and other national polices then in both the case different steps are followed as in case of social policy regulatory authorities have to follow series of steps like policy identification and agenda setting, formulation, adoption, implementation and evaluation (Friedman, Rose and Koskan, 2013). Main aim in social policy is to work for welfare of society and improve health conditions which are different from basic aim of other policies. People of specific groups like old age; children etc who are suffering from any disability or disease are given proper care and support. Whereas people who are very poor and unemployed are also taken into consideration as they require proper support.
There is direct difference in formation and adaptation of social policy initiatives as nations are differentiated by geography, climate religion, political ideology etc. in every nation different type of people live so several barriers are present which prevents in adoption of social policy (Lea, 2012). Gross domestic product is the next factor considered at the time of formation and adoption of policy and considered very important. So there is large difference in formation and adoption of social policy initiatives (Giesbrecht, M. Crooks and Williams, 2010).
From the above report it has become easy to understand the importance of social policy in health and social care sector. It is linked with welfare of society and helps in overall development. In health and social care organizations such polices act as promotional tool as it helps to serve health care users well and with more efficiency. Person suffering from any disability or disease is given proper care and support to cope up with the health issue. So there is no doubt that social policies are developed for the welfare of society.
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