Social Policy and Health Care

Social Policy and Health Care

Social Policy and Health Care

Social Policy and Health Care


Social policy is now part of all nursing courses at pre-registration level. It is also an important topic in many post-registration courses for nurses and other health care professionals. All health care professionals are also now expected to play a more active role in policy development and implementation. This text will be unique among books currently on offer in that it willprovide an outline of the main structures, issues and developments in social policy, relating to the healthcare field. In addition, it contextualises practice by means of examples and case studies from a range of client groups.


The education process for health care students generally aims to provide them with competencies that will assist them in carrying out their role. Sometimes, however, this process fails, especially in assisting students to develop their own attitudes towards political matters that affect the distribution of services to meet the needs of the patient. This is where a social policy module can prove helpful, particularly as managerial roles within the health services require individuals to have a clear understanding of the nature of health care provision.

Until recently, social policy issues that affected health care were either ignored or taught ad hoc, if there was a teacher on site who had a particular interest in the subject. Now, social policy modules have been introduced into many undergraduate programmes for health care professionals. They aim to give health care professionals a political awareness that did not previously exist, to enable them to play a more decisive and interactive role in the process of policy development and implementation, and to stimulate a wider academic interest in the subject, particularly amongst those involved in teaching it.

The dearth of textbooks providing students with a good foundation of information, encouraging further reading and knowledge gain, has encouraged the authors to write this book. Most are experienced lecturers with a specific interest in health care issues affecting current social policies and have focused specifically on the needs of health care undergraduate students. In planning the content, the authors have recognised that the potential readership is not intending to pursue a career in social policy. The content has therefore been kept within the pre-existing maps of their needs, focussing mainly on the patient. The topics reveal the dilemmas that governments encounter in attempting to provide services that are universal, equitable and justly distributed. The book also concentrates on specific government policies and on provision for specific client groups that students will encounter during their day-to-day working experience.

Social Policy and Health Care provides the reader with an insight into the processes that led to the emergence of universal health care, offers an authoritative review and critique of current social policy and its effects on health care provision, and forecasts future directions. The most important changes that have emerged are described in a clear, jargon-free style, and the individuals who influenced these changes are looked at.

Most academic subjects need to be confrontational, argumentative and interactive, and this is especially the case with social policy. The interactive text aims to provoke or stimulate the reader to question and form a personal view of policy decisions. The design and structure of the text is intentionally reader-friendly in the sequencing of chapters, inclusion of study activities and the provision of an extensive reference section.

The book should be a valuable resource for students and lecturers involved in social policy . . .

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