A recent study in Northern Ireland,” Transforming your Care” published in December 2011, highlighted the fact, that the province, no doubt mirroring the rest of the United Kingdom, has a significant growing and aging population. This expansion in the longevity of life we’re all experiencing must surely, in no small part, be considered a tribute to the quality of our care services. In this essay, I will examine ,not only the care services which are available to people with long term health issues, but also why it’s important, these services should take into account individuals sensitivities and circumstances.
The bedrock of the present United Kingdom care system was laid in the mid- forties, when the Labour Party’s Health Minister Aneurin Bevan introduced a “free” public health service, which some would claim is the envy of the civilized world. From this, developed our present care services, which divide into primary and secondary care services. Primary health care services are provided by the people you normally see when you first have a health problem,it might be a visit to the doctor, or a dentist or to an optician for an eye test. Primary health care services then, are those which are directly accessible to you, that is they are directly accessible to every member of society without reference to class, creed or ability to pay.
These primary services are also complimented by secondary services, when specialised, disciplined treatment is required for you in the event, you have been diagnosed with a long term illness, which can’t be controlled by yourself, following a well-designed care plan, or in the event after a sustained period, you lose control of that plan. You will almost certainly then, be referred or “sent on” from a primary service to a secondary service, most often a hospital or for example a renal unit.
That is the basic framework of our care services, but we can best add it’s sinews and muscles by examining the work of Watson and Northedge (2010)...