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Welfare State - Healthcare Provisions

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Introduction

This essay will explore the changing attitudes of society, within a healthcare context, towards the poor and people with disabilities. It will examine the impact of progressive legislation and how welfare provision has changed from 1971 to the present date. The effect of these changes on how the poor and disabled are viewed and treated will also be analysed. Healthcare is defined as "The prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical and allied health professions." (medical-dictionary, 2008). This essay will closely examine the key changes, through both social advancement and legislative modifications, from the specific perspective of the impact on those with low incomes or disabilities. Before looking at these key changes from 1971, it will be appropriate to provide context in the form of a brief overview of how the healthcare arena looked in earlier years and how the poor and disabled were treated. Prior to the creation of the National Health Service in 1948, low-paid working men had to pay each week for a 'panel' doctor and this deal did not provide hospital care, with hospitals charging all users for access to services. Women and children had to pay to see a doctor, usually laying the money on the desk as they walked in (dh, 2008). The National Health Service signalled a revolution in healthcare provision. ...read more.

Middle

health and how investment in health services and a health and social development programme were urgently required to address the problem (sochealth, 2005). The Report produced evidence that unskilled or manual labourers were significantly more likely to die before retirement age and were also much more prone to suffer the death of one of their children. It also said that the health of the lower working classes was actually deteriorating and that provision of health services was unacceptable in working class areas. Difficulties faced by those with disabilities were also highlighted in the report and a plea was made for greater mobility via the extension of home-help responsibilities and free transport to day centres. The legal protection of adults with disabilities who were resident in care homes was strengthened by the Registered Homes Act 1984. The Act made provision for the registration and inspection of all care homes by local authorities (opsi, 2007a). It also placed an obligation upon named officers within the care homes to regularly monitor standards. The rights of people with disabilities were further strengthened by the Disabled Persons' Act 1986. This Act obligated local authorities to assess a person with disabilities' needs when asked to do so. Local authorities were also required to provide as much relevant information as possible on available services and to take the abilities and limitations of carers into account when making assessments (enabletogether, 2006). ...read more.

Conclusion

Available from: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4010551 [Accessed: 4 December 2008]. Department of Health (2004) National Health Service Act 1977 [online]. Available from: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsLegislation/DH_4094212 [Accessed: 3 December 2008]. Department of Health (2008) Sixty Years of The National Health Service [online]. Available from: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_085936 [Accessed: 3 December 2008]. Directgov (2008a) Disabled People [online]. Available from: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/index.htm [Accessed: 15 December 2008]. Directgov (2008b) Health and well-being [online]. Available from: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HealthAndWellBeing/index.htm [Accessed: 15 December 2008]. Enable Together (2006) Your Rights & Entitlements [online]. Available from: http://www.enabletogether.co.uk/directpayments/yourrightsandentitlements.php [Accessed: 4 December 2008]. Horner, N. (2007) What is Social Work? 2nd Ed. Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd. Office of Public Sector Information (2007a) Registered Homes Act 1984 [online]. Available from: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1984/pdf/ukpga_19840023_en.pdf [Accessed: 3 December 2008]. Office of Public Sector Information (2007b) Disability Discrimination Act 2005 [online]. Available from: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1995/Ukpga_19950050_en_1 [Accessed: 4 December 2008]. Office of Public Sector Information (2008) Employment Medical Advisory Service Act 1972 [online]. Available from: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1972/pdf/ukpga_19720028_en.pdf [Accessed: 3 December 2008]. Oliver, M. (1990) The Politics of Disablement. London, Macmillan. Postle-Hacon, C. (1998) Promoting Mental Health Journal of Community Nursing Volume 12, Issue 6. Available from: http://www.jcn.co.uk/journal.asp?MonthNum=06&YearNum=1998&Type=backissue&ArticleID=57 [Accessed: 4 December 2008]. SAIF (2007) Saying It Simply [online]. Available from: www.saifscotland.org.uk/doc_pdf/SayingitSimply.doc [Accessed: 3 December 2008]. Socialist Health Association (2005) The Black Report 1980 [online]. Available from: http://www.sochealth.co.uk/history/black.htm [Accessed: 3 December 2008]. The Medical Dictionary (2008) Definition of Healthcare [online]. Available from: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/health+care [Accessed: 3 December 2008]. Barry Fotheringham - December 2008 1 ...read more.

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