In the field of Health and Social Care, there are many aspects that must be taken into consideration. Anyone who wishes to work in this sector must have extensive knowledge of research and evidence. This also includes ensuring that their knowledge is updated regularly, as new studies are constantly being conducted. There are several ways to do this, such as completing professional training courses or reading up on relevant research papers. Benefits Health and social care are a hugely important sector to be involved in. Working within the industry means you’ll have the opportunity to help people lead fulfilling lives, offering emotional support and physical care. You’ll also get to develop close professional relationships with your clients, and they’ll rely on you for the best possible care. Moreover, it’s often said that healthcare and social care are essential for the development of a healthy society. Social protection systems are also crucial for economic recovery and are a source of income for individuals and the economy. Integrated care may help to address the social determinants of health and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health services. However, there are challenges around measuring the benefits of integrated care. Integrated care can also reduce costs by reducing the need for hospital admissions and facilitating recovery at home. However, it’s important to establish clear communication pathways between health and social care providers. Eligibility In England, social care is funded by local councils and may be accessed through means-tested assessments of income and assets. The councils commission a range of services from the private and voluntary sector, including day care, home/domestic support or reablement, specialised equipment or alarm systems, housing options with levels of care support attached, residential nursing homes and respite care. GPs are also responsible for screening patients for social care needs and referring them to relevant practitioners such as district nurses, social workers or psychologists. This can be done via face to face meetings or over the phone. There have been major policy initiatives to improve integrated health and social care over the last decade in the US, with a particular focus on the Medicaid public insurance program for low-income families. These include screening for social risks in primary care clinics and building new cross-sector collaborations that finance social services with healthcare dollars, among other changes. Planning Health and social care are intertwined and should be treated as one system. This can help ensure that you are receiving the most appropriate treatment and that your needs are being met. It can also help improve the overall experience of your care. A care plan is a set of schedules and objectives that guides health and care professionals as they work with patients and clients. It includes an assessment of an individual’s care needs and their desired outcomes, as well as a strategy for meeting those needs. VCSE organisations have the expertise, resources and community connections to support a shift towards person-centred planning. These include providing information and guidance, screening for social risk and connecting high-risk individuals with community services. They can also help develop and implement local strategies that support a joined-up approach to health and care. This involves integrating health and social care to improve access, reduce the need for invasive procedures and foster healthier populations. Payment Historically, the health care and nonmedical social services sectors have had siloed funding streams, accountability metrics, and rewards that create barriers to cooperation (TFAH, 2018a). However, integrating social care into health care systems and paying for these activities may help overcome some of the barriers. Some MCOs incorporate the cost and quality of social determinants of health into rate-setting and payment methodologies. For example, MCOs in New Zealand and the UK use research-derived, small-area SDH indices to adjust for health and social care costs and resources (California Health Care Foundation, 2018). If your local council decides you need help with your social care needs after an assessment, it can charge you. It can also give you a personal budget to pay for your care. You should not have to pay more than you can afford. If you have a complaint about your care or the way it is provided, contact the Local Government Ombudsman. You can find out more on their website.