This essay will give an overview of the structure and quality of health and social care within the United Kingdom (UK).This essay will give an overview of the structure and quality of health and social care within the United Kingdom (UK).

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Health care policy and quality

This essay will give an overview of the structure and quality of health and social care within the United Kingdom (UK). The integration of health and social care is one of the key influences of holistic care. This essay will also explore equity of access, quality control, assurance and improvement in regards to providing the highest care for health and social care patients. To achieve quality; legislations, policies and procedures need to be in place to guide staff and patients. These are monitored monthly and annually to maintain high standards of care (NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement Excellence 2013).

The policy the author will focus on is the Infection Control Policy, concentrating on the assessment and implementation in health care settings. As well as how high quality standards are maintained and continued within the policy. Confidentiality will also be conserved in this essay; therefore no Trust will be mentioned if the information is not in the public domain.

In the UK there are a range of health and social care services for every individual, from health clinics to learning disability schools. They subscribe to the same goal in providing compassionate care with the best quality, standards and evidence based practice. The National Health Service (NHS) is a publicly funded agency providing healthcare to anyone who is a resident in the UK. It was first established in 1948, formulated on the idea that excellent healthcare should be available to all individuals regardless of their wealth. Since then, there have been many changes and innovations to improve the quality and standard of the NHS (NHS Trust Development Authority 2013).

The NHS is a growing system that is influenced by global epidemiology. Knowledge and skills immensely extends through global interaction. According to Filetoth (2003) international standards provide harmonisation and standardisation of health care amongst different countries. Through joining knowledge with international services, the NHS is able to fill gaps in practice. It also provides guidance when a process can be carried out in an alternative way. Infection control is one of the major health care policies that have developed throughout the years through global impact and epidemiological evidence.

Equity is the promotion of equalisation and fairness in all services; it is a huge part of the health and social care system. This ultimately allows every individual to access the facilities, without stereotyping. Equity also promotes good quality programs, policies and procedures to be taught and used effectively throughout the health and social care service not categorising private of the free sectors to have better care (Braveman and Gruskin 2003).  

To continue, equity is now seen to be part of quality control. Quality is a complex notion that has many definitions. However according to Health, Social Services and Public Safety (2013) the key domains are; effectiveness, safety, patient focus, efficient, equality of access and timeliness. When all these aspects are put together they are able to provide the highest quality of care throughout the health and social care system.

Organisation governance is a system that takes part in quality control and assurance. Their role is to provide organisations with an aims to achieve. They also control the finances needed for all aspects of health care. Both roles are accomplished through correct leadership skills such as stewardship. These attributes support the organisation to apply appropriate care in the right behaviour following the exact principles (Bullivant et al 2014).  

Quality assurance (QA) is measures put in place to uphold quality care. This can be achieved through a pathway of reviewing, identifying creating standards and quality improvement (QI) plans produced by the care quality commission (CQC). QI denotes a plan or a check list of any problems within the quality of care in a health and social care setting. Improvement to any form of quality is always based on knowledge and statistics. QA and improvement go hand in hand forming part of the quality cycle. In previous decades quality was about being good enough, however now with systems of organisational governance, quality assurance and improvement it is about providing the best possible care (Goldstone 1998).

There are many different regulators in health and social care, their aim is to protect the public and make sure all health and social care professionals reach the required standard of care. Each regulator monitors different areas of health and social care. For example the Nursing and midwifery council monitor the nurses and midwifes standard of care and practice. CQC are one of the regulators that assess service areas, through measuring standards and quality. According to the CQC (2014) their responsibility is to review and measures the quality of care across the board, making sure all service users are provided with effective, safe, compassionate and high-quality care. Both CQC and organisational governance value patients, clinical and carers; as they are seen to lie at the heart of the NHS. They are centre in decision making and improving healthcare therefore they need to be educate in quality in its highest forms.

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Quality control is not always successful in achieving the goals set. This can be due to the practice or resources, however the CQC have an important role in making sure quality is at the right standard. If not certain, measures are taken place such as refusing more admissions. However, the CQC are not as flexible as the process itself. Many times departments and wards are informed of their visit from CQC that promote the staff to alter behaviours, attitudes and practices hiding the true situations. However through unannounced inspections real situations can be highlighted.  

Within the NHS excellence is ...

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