What is the Difference Between Social Care and Medical Care?

For the most part, it is the medical care of elders that is most likely to be seen in present headlines. Social care is an issue that very rarely, if ever discussed, in the mainstream. This is due in large part to the idea that hospitals are being reconfigured and the long term care system is being mostly overhauled to help better accommodate the growing number of seniors who are entering long term or residential care. There are significant financial pressures currently being placed on the NHS and therefore, the NHS is receiving a great deal of attention. However, it could be argued that both social care and health care require some scrutiny, as well as some publicity.

Despite the lack of attention, social care also has its challenges, especially financially. It faces similar budget cuts to those seen by the NHS and both areas will see similar rising demand due to the growing elder population. For the most part, saving money in one of these departments typically means savings money in the other. For example, when the needs of consumers are not being met by the social care system, they will typically turn to and rely on the NHS for assistance. This can mean a growing demand on emergency work and on unplanned work. It is most likely the consumer that feels the brunt of the rift that has grown between the healthcare and social care fields.

It seems pretty basic that social care and healthcare would work together. Social care services are often needed at the same time and place as healthcare services. For example, a consumer may have drastic medical needs and may need to see a doctor or have a surgery performed. This same consumer is likely to have social needs as well. They may need help taking care of themselves. They may need assistance bathing and clothing, especially at a time when they are undergoing some kind of medical or healthcare treatment. They may need other social supports such as finding benefits or assistance with other personal needs. Many consumers who are in need of social care are also in need of health care, most likely simultaneously.

The fields of social care and health care have a great opportunity to work together right now. Doing so would almost surely help consumers who are trying to navigate long term care services for themselves or their loved ones. With the re-vamping of the NHS and local authorities, now is a critical time if social care and health care are to start working together toward the common good of all consumers.