Social Care in the UK Essay

Social Care in the UK Essay

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This essay attempts to; discuss the dominant social policy perspectives that have influenced social policy making in the United Kingdom since 1945.
To explain how differing perspectives have responded to healthcare as a social problem.
To describe two key policies that have been instigated since the start of New Labour in 1997, and to examine a contemporary social policy relating to health.

In 1941 Sir William Beveridge was commissioned by the then Conservative prime minister, Winston Churchill to conduct a study of the welfare system of the time.
The Beveridge report paved the way for the welfare state as we know it and was important in shaping the social democratic ideology that remained prevalent until the mid 1970’s.
The key principals behind most social democratic ideology are that of equality and collectivism. In practice, the state manages the economy using Keynesian economic principals, manages the provision of welfare through the welfare state and takes a regulatory roll in peoples lives. This protects citizens from the extremes of poverty and prevents major economic inequality.

The New Right ideology came to the fore in the mid 1970’s as a result of a major recession and the reality of an economic crisis.
The 1979 general election was won by the Conservative party led by Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher was prime minister until 1990 in a period of politics that came to be known as Thatcherism.
Two key thinkers of the time were Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek who saw ‘the free market’ as central to the success of Thatcherism and believed that government should concentrate on economic issues, thus allowing ‘market forces’ to shape society.

From the early 1990’s a new, politically cen...

... middle of paper ...

...el medical treatment, help and advice via centres that are easy to access.
The NHS annual review 2009-2010 found that NHS direct recommended to 49% of callers to go to less urgent/lower cost points of care, saved 2.4 million GP appointments and 1.2 million ambulance journeys ( 2010).
Disadvantages of these direct services are that they are extremely expensive and only offer a reactive form of health care, while not providing enough health education.

Works Cited

Pilkington A & Yeo A Sociology in focus Haddington, Scotprint. 2004.
Pugh P & Garratt C, Keynes a graphic guide London, Icon books. 2009.
Walsh M, Stephens P & Moore S Social policy and welfare, Stanley Thornes Ltd. 2000

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