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Health Policy and Social Trends Assignment 

1. Introduction Of Health Policy and Social Trends

This report surveys the writing of the historical developments on the British National Health Service since it was originated in the year 1948. The main focus is on the different timelines of the NHS focusing on the healthy development of children and young people. This section comprises the services of NHS starting from the reformation of the NHS to the Thatcher and the Blair era. The present-day situation and the government policies related to the health improvement of children along with other disabilities have been discussed in this report. Finally, This report also focuses on the principles underpinning the policies framed by the government of the UK.

1.1 Pre 1948 – The beginning of the NHS

The National Health Service is generally the cost-free health service which is provided in the UK especially in England, Scotland and Wales. The NHS was the first health care institution that was established to provide free health services to every individual in England (Welch, 2018). Initially, the patients are required to pay for any health care service and sometimes the charitable institution provided the service with charitable voluntary hospitals and for local taxpayers, the local authorities provided arrangements for health care services. In this phase of the health care era wives and children of national insurance were excluded and they were also excluded from the free hospital treatment and many had to pay further fees to have a hospital treatment (Allsop, 20148).

According to Gemmill, 2017. The formation of NHS has a wider ideology to eliminate the five giants such as disease, idleness, ignorance, and squalor. The founding principles of NHS gave attention to the values of inclusion, equity, and equality, and also regardless of payment done by individual, it emphasizes on accessibility of health care services. Later it included the additional values of effectiveness, responsiveness, efficiency, and appropriateness.

The key event of organized labor health policy before 1948 is Earwickers unpublished thesis which traces the research in local governments and there is debate on whether there should be universalism through either insurance or state policy. The Act of 1946 and 1947 considered the NHS as universal and flexible which is financed by general taxation. The unelected regional and Hospital Boards nationalize the voluntary hospitals along with the ex-local and government institution. Also, the local authorities were left with the leftover social care functions and public health. To shape the healthcare system, as per studies, there are several political group pressure and comparative histories also give importance to the powers of local authorities, corporate medicines, and other health care service providers in terms of Children Healthcare (Nottingham, 2019).

1.2 The period 1948 to 1979

Under the administration of Churchill, the curb on the expenditure on the government was a key drawback as the initial financial position have been hugely underestimated cost while there was a rise in the demand however the fact was that there was high public satisfaction as the NHS allowed politicians in favor of health improvements of the children, social security and education (Rowland and Rao, 2017). In 1950, the acute hospital sector made progress therefore the children's health improvement was not satisfactory due to less hospital resulting in less availability of hospital beds.

In the 1960s, the children's health improvement increased considerably as there was a rise in the expenditure by the government for hospitals which was backed up by the capital program for building new hospitals. This phase is considered the turning phase of children's health improvement in the UK.

1.3 Thatcher-era - 1979 to 1997

 The other era of children's health improvements is distinct from the thatcher era. Margaret Thatcher 1925 – 2013 was prime minister of UK for period 1979 to 1990. Thatcherism has had a long-term and fundamental impact on the health and well-being of the people of the UK especially children's health and wellbeing (Hardy and Rhodes, 2017). It has been described as an ideological project in which there is a re-cast of the relationship between capital and labor. The thatcher principles and policies were associated with the substantial increase in socioeconomic and inequalities in health and well-being. These issues were actively marginalized and ignored by Margaret Thatcher. Furthermore, her reforms related to the public sector where the business principles are applied to state welfare and there was the privatization of the NHS. These all factors contributed to the poor children's health improvements in the Thatcher era (Benbow, 2019).

1.4 New Labor – 1997 to 2000

This era is known for innovation and modernization under the rule of Tony Blair as prime minister and privatization was the major feature of this era's election campaigns. This era started in the year 1997 intending to remove the internal market and removing the fundholding. The reason for driving these reforms was the number of factors such as the rising cost of medical technology and medicines. And focused on the increase in the standard of the healthcare service (Loader, 2018). The NHS suffered critical technological problems with information technology and innovation. During the year 2004 to 2005 and from 2013 to 2014, there was an increase in the output by 32%, primary care consultant by 25%, and community care activity by 14%. The rates of death reduced and at the same time, the wages of the hospital staff increased. Furthermore, there was also an increase in the use of technological equipment and supplies.

1.5 Coalition Government – 2010 to 2015

 There was a deterioration in industrial relations when there was the return of a conservative government in 2010. There was mass demonstration and strikes by the health care workers with the introduction of privatization in the health care sector in the year 2014. In the year 2016, there was a major industrial action by a junior doctor in which there was a protest against the new contract for extending the weekend working (Murphy and Ferry, 2018). According to the health and social contract Act 2012, did not extend patient choice as this policy afterward took aback seat. However, the budget was increased which is diverted to the private providers.

1.6 - 2015 to the present-day conservative government

 In the leadership of David Cameron, all the hospitals in the UK will have to provide top-level treatment at the weekend starting with emergency care. The election campaign was run by keeping the NHS at the forefront. According to Cairney, 2019 There is more focus on the staffing system at the weekends as there should be proper resources available at the weekends as the emergencies such as heart attack, babies and major accidents do not just come from nine to five. Also, there is adequate funding by the government and the local authorities concerning the health care service in the UK (Heymann et al., 2019)

2. Policies and principles associated with Children and Health improvements in the UK

According to the Public Health Whitepaper 2010, the importance of the children start life is given. it sets out plans for a healthy child program along with health Visitors and Family Nurse Partnerships. Several policies have been set up by the Government of the UK concerning children's health improvements (Cairney, 2019). These have been listed below;

  1. Every child Matters
  2. Children National Service Framework (NFS0, 2004
  3. Care Matters White Paper 2007
  4. Children and Young People in Mind: National CAMHS Review 2008
  5. Healthy Lives, Brighter Future; the strategy of Children and Young People Health
  6. DH/DCSF Strategy on Health of Children in the Youth Justice Systems.
  7. Healthy Child Program (0-5) Pregnancy and the First Year of Life (relaunched in 2009)
  8. Healthy Child Programme 5 – 19 (2009).

The Principles associated with the children and Health Improvements in the UK underpin the above-mentioned policies for promoting the health of the children (). These principles are as follows;

  1. The service delivery is designed concerning the needs of children and young people.
  2. The service designed should put the voices first in terms of health and improvements of the health of the children and young people.
  3. The care standard should be delivered excellently.
  4. Making sure that the health of the children is correctly assessed and met.
  5. The professional working for the care of the children must understand the roles and responsibilities associated with the agencies.
  6. The health inequalities should be addressed adequately to meet the needs of children and young people.
  7. A holistic approach should be used in dealing with different health conditions whether it is physical, sexual, or emotional. It also considers mental health well-being and health promotion (Needham and Dickinson, 2018).

The children's health improvements continue to be substantial change in the way the different services are commissioned and provided and the key objective of these changes is to improve the health condition of the children and young people. The above principles and guidance aim to support the local authorities to meet the needs of health needs of the children (World Health Organization, 2017). The main motive of this guidance is to make sure that the children and the young people are physically, sexually, mentally, and emotionally fit and they will not take any illegal drugs which help them to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

3. Policies and principles associated with Disability and health issues in the UK

Having disabilities and other health issues can be one of the marginalizing factors in an individual life. Disabilities are present in every race, ethnicity, gender, age, orientation with more than a million people or about 15% of the world population have been affected by disability. The person having a disability goes through several conditions such as exclusion from society, extreme poverty, and discrimination. These all factor led the UK government to frame certain policies and principles which would prevent the disabled to go through discriminative behaviour (Gooding, 2017).

There are various challenges that a disabled person has to face. To able to cope up with those challenges the parliamentary libraries offer a wide range of policies in the area related to transport, housing benefits, education, and accessibilities. The Equality Act 2010 is the primary legislation that governs the rights of disabled people in the UK. This Act makes provisions for disabled people with nine features that are protected by the law of the UK which also include disability. The policies that have been framed for the disability and health issues in the UK have been discussed in detail in the below section.

Disability under the Equality Act 2010

According to this Act, a person is said to have disabled if there is physical and mental impairment and this impairment can affect the day-to-day activity of a person in the long run (Dwyer et al., 2020). Section 20 of this act makes a provision for providing adjustment for disabled people concerning education, transport, public functions, work, etc.

House of Lords Equality Act 2010 and disability committee report

An ad-hoc committee was formed by the House of Lords on 11th June 2015 to report and consider the impact on the people with disability and Equality Act 2010 and the committee report was then published on 24th March 2016. The report is recommended concerning the equality duty of the public sector, access to the building, transport facilities, access to justice, and the functions of equality and human rights commission (Loader, 2018).

4. Conclusion

This report has discussed the writing of the historical developments on the British National Health Service since it was originated in the year 1948. The report also focused is on the different timelines of the NHS focusing on the healthy development of children and young people. The next section comprises the services of NHS starting from the preformation of the NHS to the Thatcher and the Blair era. The present-day situation and the government policies related to the health improvement of children along with other disabilities have been discussed in this report. Finally, This report also focused on the principles underpinning the policies framed by the government of the UK. 

5. Reference

Allsop, J., 2018. Health policy and the NHS: towards 2000. Routledge.

Benbow, D.I., 2019. Juridification, new constitutionalism, and market reforms to the English NHS. Capital & Class43(2), pp.293-313.

Cairney, P., 2019. The UK government’s imaginative use of evidence to make policy. British Politics14(1), pp.1-22.

Dwyer, P., Scullion, L., Jones, K., McNeill, J., and Stewart, A.B., 2020. Work, welfare, and wellbeing: The impacts of welfare conditionality on people with mental health impairments in the UK. Social Policy & Administration54(2), pp.311-326.

Gemmill, P.F., 2017. 7. Further British Appraisals of the NHS. In Britain's Search for Health (pp. 134-154). University of Pennsylvania Press.

Gooding, P., 2017. A new era for mental health law and policy: supported decision-making and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Cambridge University Press.

Hardy, B. and Rhodes, R.A.W., 2017. Beliefs and institutional change: The UK national health service. In Government Reformed (pp. 65-87). Routledge.

Heymann, J., Levy, J.K., Bose, B., Ríos-Salas, V., Mekonen, Y., Swaminathan, H., Omidakhsh, N., Gadoth, A., Huh, K., Greene, M.E. and Darmstadt, G.L., 2019. Improving health with programmatic, legal, and policy approaches to reduce gender inequality and change restrictive gender norms. The Lancet393(10190), pp.2522-2534.

Loader, K., 2018. Small-and medium-sized enterprises and public procurement: A review of the UK coalition government's policies and their impact. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space36(1), pp.47-66.

Murphy, P. and Ferry, L., 2018. Another turn of the screw: fire and rescue under the Coalition Government of 2010–2015. In Fire and Rescue Services (pp. 45-59). Springer, Cham.

Needham, C. and Dickinson, H., 2018. ‘Any one of us could be among that number’: Comparing the Policy Narratives for Individualized Disability Funding in Australia and England. Social Policy & Administration52(3), pp.731-749.

Nottingham, C., 2019. The NHS in Scotland: The Legacy of the Past and the Prospect of the Future. Routledge.

Rowland, T.A. and Rao, C., 2017. The NHS and Private Healthcare. An Introduction to Surgery for Students (pp. 389-395). Springer, Cham.

Welch, E., 2018. The NHS at 70: a living history. Pen and Sword.

World Health Organization, 2017. Policy options on mental health: a WHO-Gulbenkian Mental Health Platform collaboration.

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